Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Homicide OUI

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Pamela Balsamo was arraigned yesterday in the Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She has been charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide. Police allege that Balsamo was driving south in the northbound lane of a rural road in Berkshire County when she struck a car being driven by Erin Dufour, another Massachusetts resident. Dufour died at the scene. The accident occurred on March 18, 2009 shortly after 8:00 in the evening. At that time Dufour was driving a Honda. Balsamo was driving a 2002 Mercedes. Balsamo was hospitalized as a result of this accident.

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Motor Vehicle Homicide Charges Filed In Massachusetts Against Connecticut Woman

Motor Vehicle Homicide OUI Being Prosecuted In Massachusetts Superior Court

Motor Vehicle Homicide in Massachusetts can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor. In this case it was charged as a felony. The defendant faces a maximum state prison sentence of fifteen years. She also faces a minimum mandatory one year sentence in this case. There are very few articles online that discuss this case. Nowhere is Balsamo’s blood alcohol level disclosed. This is somewhat odd in that she was taken to the hospital where it is likely that blood was drawn and toxicological tests conducted. There are no articles or press releases that show the results of the accident reconstruction conducted by the police. Often times the strength of the district attorney’s case in motor vehicle homicide prosecutions rests on the strength of the accident reconstruction. Naturally, eyewitness accounts will factor heavily into this equation. I would be interested in learning more about the facts that support the district attorney’s theory of this case.

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Last week police in West Tisbury, Massachusetts responded to a motor vehicle crash scene after receiving information that there was an accident with serious injuries. They arrived to find Jena Pothier pinned to the front passenger seat wearing a seatbelt. The suspected driver, Kelly McCarron was found lying in the road having been ejected from the car. Police stated that speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. Witnesses to the crash said that McCarron was operating at a high rate of speed and attempting to pass a car in front of her despite a car in the oncoming lane. Pothier had just completed her first year of college. McCarron had just graduated from Martha’s Vineyard High School. McCarron has been charged with several motor vehicle infractions and crimes, the most serious being DUI, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Motor Vehicle Homicide OUI and OUI with Serious Bodily Injury. Police have not ruled other charges out of the realm of possibility.

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Motor Vehicle Homicide, OUI Charges For Cape Cod Woman Who Killed Friend In Accident

Anytime there is a motor vehicle accident involving alcohol in Massachusetts and someone is killed you can bet that serious criminal charges will issue. In cases such as this one there are two important aspects to the district attorney’s investigation that will dictate how this case is prosecuted. The first is the manner of operation of the vehicle being driven by the defendant. The more egregious this activity the more severe the charges. Police in this case have left open the possibility of additional charges against McCarron. One of these could be OUI Manslaughter. That crime would require a minimum mandatory five year state prison sentence. The statute authorizes a twenty year state prison sentence. The second component guiding how this case will be charged is the defendant’s blood alcohol level at the time of operation. Whenever someone suspected of drunk driving is hospitalized as a result of injuries medical personnel will take a blood test. A toxicology screen will be performed determining the level of alcohol in the person’s system at the time of the test. This case be challenged depending on the time and manner of testing. This is discussed some of my in other blog posts dealing with the proper method of blood testing for the presence of alcohol and extrapolation of the reading. If the alcohol level was high and the manner of operation was extreme you might see additional charges issue.

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UPI reported that Courtney Frances Stewart, the twenty year old who was driving Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart had a blood alcohol level of .06 the night she, Adenhart and another individual were killed in a DUI related accident. These results were determined by the coroner who examined the bodies of the decedents and conducted toxicology tests. While some might think the reading is low, California Vehicle Code § 23136 makes it a crime for anyone who is under the age of twenty one to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .01 or more. Andrew Thomas Gallo, who had a 2006 DUI conviction has been charged with murder for the deaths of the three back on April 9th of this year.

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Woman Driving Angels Pitcher May Have Been DUI Herself

There is no doubt that if this case goes to trial Gallo’s defense attorney will try to use the issue of Stewart’s intoxication as part of his defense. The focus of the trial would then be not whether Gallo was impaired at the time of the accident. Rather, the defense will try to show that Stewart’s actions were the cause of the accident and the her alcohol ingestion impaired her ability to operate in a safe manner. All of this of course assumes that the physical evidence at the scene and any eyewitness observations supports this defense. It is important to keep in mind that someone’s blood alcohol level at the time of death does not necessarily reflect accurately that person’s blood alcohol at the time of operation. Factors that defense lawyers always like to know is how many drinks the person had, over what time period were the drinks ingested, how much food did the person eat that day, the person’s height and weight and whether proper procedures were followed when taking the blood sample. Expect to see the defense engage a toxicologist and an accident reconstructionist to assist in trial preparations.

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Saturday night was supposed to be a night that would provide a lifetime of enjoyable memories and stories for the teenagers going to the Saugus, Massachusetts senior prom. Jonathan Caruso was one of the students attending. He apparently went to the prom and with other students was bused to a Boston Harbor cruise, a tradition at Saugus High School. Students were checked for alcohol and given breath tests before the prom and the cruise. They were bused back to the high school where they returned at 4:00 a.m. Caruso then left with two other students. However, at 7:30 a.m. tragedy struck when the car Caruso was driving swerved onto a sidewalk near Essex Street and Grove Street, hit a street sign, telephone pole and bush and struck and killed Carol Marean and severely injured her daughter. Now, Jonathan Caruso stands charged with motor vehicle homicide, OUI and a minor transporting alcohol. The case is currently pending in the Lynn District Court.

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Massachusetts Teenager Facing DUI Homicide Charges

Prom Night Disaster For Massachusetts Man Results In Motor Vehicle Homicide OUI Charges

Motor Vehicle Homicide in Massachusetts can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The felony version of this crime carries a fifteen year maximum state prison sentence. The misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide aspect of the statute makes the maximum sentence two and one half years in the house of correction. It is not yet clear how the district attorney in this case has charged Jonathan Caruso. One thing that you can be sure of however is that the prosecution will be looking for him to serve some sort of sentence involving incarceration if he is convicted of this crime. That request is routine in Massachusetts where someone is killed as a result of a drunk driver. The critical issues in this case will likely be the amount of alcohol consumed by Caruso, the hours during which it was consumed and the manner in which he was operating at the time of the crash.

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Rodrigo Freitas was operating has car on Main Street in Hyannis, Massachusetts shortly after leaving a bar. He then broadsided a car being driven by Lynn Garland, a forty three year old mother of two from Brewster. Garland died as a result of the crash. Authorities claim that Freitas was drunk at the time of the accident. Freitas suffered a broken leg in the crash. His passenger broke his nose. Blood was taken from Garland at the hospital and no results have yet been obtained. As of now Freitas has been charged with OUI and operating to endanger. Reports suggest that Garland pulled out in front of Freitas. Police accident reconstructionists have been engaged to investigate the cause of the crash.

Cape Cod Massachusetts Man Kills Woman While Driving Drunk

Some pretty interesting issues come to mind when reading articles about this tragedy. First and foremost, whose was at fault in causing this accident. This becomes critical in determining how to charge Freitas. If accident reconstructionists determine that Freitas was at fault then it is likely that he will be charged with the additional crime of motor vehicle homicide. If Garland was at fault then the charges will remain simply OUI. The next issue is what if anything was Garland’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash. If any levels of alcohol registered in her blood then Freitas can perhaps more easily call into question the issue of ultimate responsibility. Regardless, these cases can be difficult to defend for the simple reason that someone died. Greatly difficulty for the defense will arise if it is determined that Freitas was impaired by alcohol.

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Tyrone Fuller is twenty one years old living in Hayward, California. He is getting arraigned today on charges of murder stemming from a March 21, 2009 crash in which he killed another man. At the time Fuller was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. It was reported that at 6:00 a.m. Fuller drove his sport utility vehicle through a red light striking a car driven by Roger Guess. Fuller left the scene but later filed a false police report claiming that his car had been stolen. The charges are in the Alameda County Superior Court.

DUI Murder Charges Filed Against California Man

In Massachusetts you cannot be charged with murder for a motor vehicle death involving impairment due to either alcohol or drugs. You can however be charged with motor vehicle homicide or manslaughter based on OUI. Motor vehicle homicide charges carry a maximum fifteen years in state prison. The crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. OUI manslaughter in Massachusetts originated with Melanie’s Law. It is a felony charge that carries a minimum mandatory five year state prison sentence and as much as twenty years. There is also a lifetime loss of license associated with this crime.

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Twenty six year old Gilberto Vega was arraigned yesterday in the Lawrence District Court. The charges are manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury, motor vehicle homicide and OUI. The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reports that Vega and his girlfriend had an argument after which she, Betzaida Laureano asked him to leave. When he left Vega drove his car at Laureano who was standing on the sidewalk with her children. Vega drove on the sidewalk towards Laureano and ended up hitting her daughter Evelize Curet. Curet was taken to Lawrence General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

DUI And Manslaughter Charges For Massachusetts Man Who Killed Girlfriend’s Daughter

There is no doubt that this case will be presented to a grand jury and indicted. Vega will have to defend against these charges in the Essex County Superior Court in Salem, Massachusetts. The OUI charges are the least of his worries. Vega’s biggest problems are the manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide OUI charges. Manslaughter in Massachusetts carries a maximum twenty year state prison sentence. Motor vehicle homicide in Massachusetts carries a fifteen year maximum if the felony version of this offense is charged. Given the tragic nature of this case it would not surprise me to see the district attorney look for at least a fifteen year sentence if Vega gets convicted.

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On April 9, 2009 Matthew Markham was driving on High Street with his friend Sean Whalen and Erik Joudrey. While engaged in a conversation with one of his passengers Markham missed a turn in the road and hit two trees. Whalen was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he died shortly after his arrival. Markham and Joudrey were also treated for injuries. Police reports indicate that all three were drinking earlier in the evening and that speed was a factor in the crash. This past Friday Markham was arrested on charges of motor vehicle homicide while OUI and OUI with serious bodily injury. Right now charges are pending in the Milford District Court.

21 Year Old Massachusetts Man Charged With Motor Vehicle Homicide

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24G establishes the crime of motor vehicle homicide in Massachusetts. This law allows the district attorney to charge this crime as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. The felony version of this law permits a sentence of up to fifteen years in state prison and has a one year mandatory minimum sentence. The misdemeanor version of this crime has a maximum two and one half year house of correction sentence and a thirty day minimum. The district court has jurisdiction over both felony and misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide cases however no one can be sentenced for more than two and one half years if this case is prosecuted in the district court.

The article does not clarify under which section Markham has been charged. You always hope that the prosecution is fair in the manner in which it charges crimes in Massachusetts. There is a fine line between felony motor vehicle homicide OUI and misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide OUI. If the felony is charged good lawyers can often convince judges or a jury that the defendant is not guilty of this crime but rather a lesser crime, the misdemeanor. If successful the judge then has more flexibility in his or her choice of sentence.

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