A driver from New Hampshire faces multiple criminal charges in Walpole, Massachusetts, after he ran a red light and caused a six-injury accident, the Daily News Transcript of Norwood reported Sept. 10. Daniel Reynolds, 22, of Bedford, N.H., allegedly ran a red light at Routes 1 and 27, hitting a Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled over onto its roof. Trapped inside was a family of five: Nathaniel Reed, 34; Belinda Mercado, no age given; and children King Reed, 9; Jewell Reed, 5; and Reyna Reed, five months. Nathaniel Reed suffered a fractured neck and was taken to the hospital; the other family members were treated and released. Reynolds was not hurt in the accident, but his younger brother, Joshua Reynolds, suffered head injuries and was taken to the hospital along with another passenger, 23-year-old Erold Grant.
The newspaper said Daniel Reynolds had one previous DUI conviction from New Hampshire in 2007. He displayed signs of intoxication at the scene and told officers that he had been drinking at a preseason Patriots game, but was kicked out for unruly behavior. Officers also found an open bottle of cold beer and two unopened cans in his vehicle. According to the police report, Reynolds expressed remorse to an officer on the scene, saying he couldn’t believe he hurt his brother and endangered the Reed children. The report also said he told the officer he “[expletive] up big time” and had to take responsibility for his actions. However, he pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Sept. 4 on charges of OUI, negligent driving and failure to stop at a red light.
Read article: Police: 6 Hurt in DUI Crash
As a Massachusetts drunk driving defense attorney, I am not surprised that Reynolds pleaded not guilty to this charge. If the facts in this article are true, the prosecution may have a fairly strong case against him, including his own admission that he had been drinking. Nevertheless, there may be aspects of the case that are worth investigating before conceding defenses. Keep in mind that admitting to drinking does not mean that you have admitted to driving while impaired. Perhaps the number of drinks he consumed and the time over which he consumed them will suggest that he was not operating under the influence of alcohol.
Furthermore, the article said Reynolds has a prior DUI conviction in New Hampshire, and Massachusetts routinely includes known out-of-state DUI convictions when calculating penalties for a Massachusetts DUI. That means Reynolds, if convicted, will face the penalties for a second drunk driving conviction, which include 30 days of mandatory jail time, out of a sentence of 60 days to 2 1/2 years; up to $10,000 in fines; and loss of his driver’s license for two years. An experienced Massachusetts DUI defense lawyer may be able to negotiate for lesser penalties such as probation and alcohol treatment, subject to the statutory limitations — but Reynolds may still need to plead guilty.
If you were charged with operating under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts and you’d like to know your options for fighting it, you should call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman in Boston. You can reach us anytime for a consultation through our Web site or call (617) 263-6800.