There have been many stories in the news lately involving allegations of motor vehicle homicide. If charged under Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 90 section 24G(a), where alcohol is a factor, the government must show that there was operation of a motor vehicle, on a public way, at a time that either the person’s blood alcohol content was .08 or above, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The Commonwealth must also show that the vehicle operation was either reckless or negligent, and that death of another resulted therefrom.
If the Commonwealth is able to prove these elements, then the punishment encompasses not less than 2.5 nor more than 15 years in state prison, or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than 1 year, nor more than 2.5 years. This part of the statute requires a minimum mandatory 1 year imprisonment.
If charged under Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 90 section 24G(b), the government wouldn’t have to prove impairment, or .08 or above and reckless or negligent operation. If they prove one, and that such operation caused the death of another, then the Commonwealth has made out their case. This subsection carries with it the penalty of imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than 30 days, nor more than 2.5 years, or by fine, or both.
As a result, if you find yourself facing such charges, contact a criminal attorney who will zealously advocate for you. The penalties are too severe to take lightly.