Motor Vehicle Homicide Under the Influence: Understanding the Charge

Motor vehicle homicide under the influence is a serious felony in Massachusetts that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison, and you could face up to 15 years. It is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24G(a), which provides that an individual who (1) operates a motor vehicle (2) on a public way (3) while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or glue vapors AND who does so negligently or recklessly (4) and causes the death of another person is guilty of this crime.

There must be proof BOTH that the defendant was intoxicated AND that he was negligent or reckless. Proof that the defendant was intoxicated does not in and of itself create any kind of a presumption of negligence or recklessness. However, if the defendant caused the death of another person EITHER while he was under the influence OR by recklessness or negligence, he can be found guilty of motor vehicle homicide, a separate crime governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24G(b), which is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 30 days in prison and up to 2 years.

If you are convicted of either motor vehicle homicide under the influence or motor vehicle homicide, your license will be revoked for 15 years for a first offense and for life for a second offense. If you have been charged with either of these crimes, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Francis T. O'Brien Jr. has more than 20 years of experience in criminal law. He is one of the best defense attorneys that Boston has to offer, and the sooner you call him, the sooner he can start building your winning defense. Call Attorney O'Brien today at 617-512-0939.