Motor Vehicle Homicide
Prosecutors charge vehicular homicide when someone causes the death of another by driving recklessly or negligently, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you’ve been charged with motor vehicle homicide, you should call experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer Ryan P. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan has more than a decade of experience building the strongest available defense to criminal charges.What is Motor Vehicle Homicide?
Motor vehicle homicide occurs when someone dies as the result of another driver negligently or recklessly operating a vehicle on a road to which the public has access. This crime can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors will look at the circumstances to determine what offenses to charge and under what statutes. You could be charged with felony vehicular homicide if you operated a vehicle on a publicly accessible road. while under the influence, either recklessly or negligently. You could be charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide if only one of these factors was present: you operated the vehicle under the influence, or you operated the vehicle recklessly, or you negligently operated the vehicle.Motor Vehicle Homicide While Under the Influence
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 24G criminalizes operating a motor vehicle under the influence when a person dies as a result. Under Section 24G, you can be convicted of felony motor vehicle homicide if a prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) operated a motor vehicle on a road accessible to the public (2) with a .08 or higher blood alcohol content or while you were under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, (3) and because you operated a car recklessly or negligently, (4) you caused the death of another.
For this felony, you can face a harsh sentence of imprisonment for 2.5-15 years in state prison or and a fine of up to $5000. Alternatively, a judge may sentence you to imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for 1-2.5 years and a fine of up to $5000. Importantly, this sentence can’t be reduced to less than a year or suspended. You won’t be eligible for parole, probation, or furlough or receive a deducted sentence until you’ve served the sentence for at least a year.
The commissioner of correction may take the recommendation of someone in charge of the prison that you be given a temporary release under certain circumstances such as a relative’s funeral or to obtain emergency medical care that’s otherwise unavailable.
You can also be charged of reckless homicide by motor vehicle if you operated a motor vehicle recklessly such that another person died. Reckless operation of a motor vehicle occurs when the lives or safety of the public might be endangered or threatened. For this charge, you could be imprisoned for up to 2.5 years in jail or a house of correction or you could be imprisoned in state prison for up to 5 years. Or you could be charged fine of up to $3000. Some judges impose both imprisonment and a fine.What Happens to Your License When Charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide?
If you are charged with motor vehicle homicide your license may be revoked for a period of 15 years after the conviction for your first offense. It could be revoked for the rest of your life if you are convicted for motor vehicle homicide more than once.Defenses
You should not assume a conviction is assured simply because you’ve been charged. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can look at the facts and the law from many different angles and determine what the best strategy would be to defend you. In some cases, these defenses may be procedural; for instance, it may be the case that evidence was obtained illegally and should be suppressed. In other cases, there may be substantive defenses.Consult a Trustworthy Boston Lawyer About Motor Vehicle Homicide
If you were charged with motor vehicle homicide, you need a seasoned Boston criminal defense attorney. Ryan P. Sullivan can investigate every angle of your case in order to strategize and provide you with the best defense possible. Call him today at (617) 997-7597 or get in touch through our online form to schedule your free consultation.