Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Homicide

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A West Newbury, Massachusetts police officer tried unsuccessfully to pull a car over the other day. The officer was able to obtain license plate information and called the number in. He quickly learned that the car was stolen. A search for the car continued. The car was later seen in Groveland where a chased ensued. The vehicles traveled into Haverhill, Massachusetts, venturing downtown and past the Haverhill Police Station. Haverhill police quickly entered the chase as well and were able to get the car to stop. The driver of the car, later identified as Steven Dearborn of Cambridge, Massachusetts exited the vehicle and attempted to flee. He was subdued and arrested. Three passengers remained in the car, held by the police at gunpoint. One of them, Sean O’Shea started fighting with the police and was tased. Dearborn has been charged with a host of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crimes including Operating to Endanger, Failure to Stop for a Police Officer and Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle. The district attorney referenced many of Dearborn’s prior convictions in his bail argument, listing Drug Possession, Robbery and Breaking and Entering as some of these. O’Shea has been charged with Resisting Arrest and Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle. The remaining passengers, Johnson and Osborne have been charged with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle. The cases are pending in the Haverhill District Court.

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Haverhill, Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crimes Defense Law Firm

Criminal Defense Attorney, Haverhill, Massachusetts

As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer the defenses for the defendants other than the driver are clear and were well argued by their attorneys. How do you attribute knowledge that the car was stolen to the passengers? As I have mentioned in the past, this can be inferred if there is damage to the car; i.e. a punched out ignition or broken locks to the car. Absent some indicia that the vehicle was stolen however it is difficult to show that the passengers were guilty of a crime without some observations of criminal activity. O’Shea’s lawyer made the point that his client was passed out in the car and that he had been drinking and was unaware of the events that transpired. Now obviously the police will deny that he appeared at all impaired by alcohol but did they test him? It is doubtful that they did. The facts of this case might result in a dismissal of the charges against some of the defendants unless the prosecution can show criminal behavior on their part. A criminal record or presence at the crime scene do not provide sufficient evidence to sustain a prosecution on these charges. There must be more and nothing more was indicated at the arraignment.

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Around 4:30 in the morning this past Sunday Massachusetts State Police responded to a call for a Motor Vehicle accident in the northbound lane of Route 24. The arrived to learn that Jason Ribeiro of Brockton, Massachusetts was driving a car the rear ended another vehicle. The victim called 911. The police investigation revealed the presence of a large capacity loaded firearm in Ribeiro’s car. Both of Ribeiro’s passengers, a juvenile and John Pires also from Brockton were charged with Possession of a Firearm. The case is currently pending in the Brockton District Court.

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Brockton Gun Defense Lawyer

It is extremely uncommon for multiple parties to get convicted for possessing the same firearm, particularly where the weapon is found in a motor vehicle. Unless one of the occupants is actually holding the gun or the weapon is tested for fingerprints there is simply no way to attribute Possession of the Firearm to one of the parties as opposed to the others. Now Massachusetts and most other jurisdictions recognize that someone can “constructively possess” an item. The law on constructive possession states that even without actual physical possession of an item a person can be legally responsible for possessing that object via constructive possession. To be convicted for possessing an item under that theory the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused has knowledge of the object, the ability to exercise control over that object and the intent to exercise control over that item. As to constructively possessing a gun in Massachusetts one of the leading cases holds that you can infer constructive possession of the gun “from defendant’s proximity to gun in motor vehicle, where evidence that, when stopped by police, defendant ‘first leaned forward and to the right before complying with the order to raise his hands[,] . . . [and] [a] loaded handgun was found protruding from under the passenger seat in the vehicle he was operating'”. Conversely, one cannot infer constructive Possession of a Gun in Massachusetts where the gun is in proximity to a defendant’s personal papers. Proximity and knowledge do not show possession.

So how here does the district attorney sustain a prosecution against all three where there exists only one gun? They probably cannot. This is where the assistance of an Experienced Massachusetts Firearm Defense Lawyer becomes necessary. It is possible in some circumstances to succeed on a motion to dismiss in cases like this, at least as to two of the defendants. It might be possible for that motion to apply to all three defendants. To better assess this case it is necessary to know where the weapon was found in the car. What if anything did the defendants say. Is there any physical evidence on the weapon that links one or more of the suspects to the gun; i.e. DNA evidence or fingerprint evidence. What did the person in the other car see relative to the weapon. Where was the weapon found in the car? Who was the owner of the car?

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This past weekend Brockton, Massachusetts police attempted to pull Dana Tate over for alleged Motor Vehicle Violations. An officer began speaking with
Tate who suddenly took off. A chase ensued. Tate crashed his vehicle into a tree and a snow bank. He then took off as on foot as did his passenger, Dwayne Douglas who is from Dorchester. In the course of their pursuit police located a firearm and twenty six grams of cocaine that had apparently been tossed. Officers also found over three thousand dollars cash in the car. Both men were arrested. They have been charged with Trafficking Cocaine, Illegal Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm, Possession of Ammunition and a School Zone Violation.

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http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1260129839/Two-charged-in-Brockton-with-cocaine-trafficking-and-gun-violations

Brockton Massachusetts Cocaine Trafficking Defense Lawyer

The starting point for a defense investigation in this case is the legality of the initial stop. The article states that Tate was suspected for having committed Motor Vehicle Violations. What were these if any? What right did the officers have to stop the vehicle? What did they ask Tate initially or more importantly what did they do during the initial stop? Finally, were there any independent witnesses to the stop. Next, where were the drugs found? What links these defendants to the drugs? Were there any prints on the drugs? Who tossed the drugs? Who witnessed this? The same analysis applies to the gun. Finally, did the defendants admit to anything. The answers to these questions and questions like these usually provide a basis for a defense in a criminal case.

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Osei Kwame of Waltham, Massachusetts has been charged with Kidnapping in the Quincy District Court. According to reports Kwame picked up a couple in Boston just before 2:00 a.m. The pair wanted to go to Billings Street in Quincy. They ended up on Billings Road instead. One of the passengers asked the defendant to take him to the correct address. The male later got out to pay and Kwame took off with the female in the back. The woman and remaining passenger called the police from her cell phone. Kwame failed to stop for the officer. He was ultimately apprehended. Kwame has been charged with Kidnapping and Failing to Stop for a Police Officer.

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http://www.wickedlocal.com/waltham/features/x290096037/Cabbie-charged-with-kidnapping-passenger

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The crime of Kidnapping in Massachusetts is proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 26. To convict someone of this offense the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that without authority the defendant forcibly confined another person within Massachusetts against the person’s will. A conviction for kidnapping in Massachusetts carries with it a potential ten year state prison sentence. Kidnapping charges are prosecuted in the Superior Courts. The crime is a felony. Failure to Stop for a Police Officer is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 25. There is a one hundred dollar find associated with someone being responsible under that statute. The bail in this case was only seven hundred fifty dollars. This suggests a couple of things. First, Kwame’s Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer did an excellent job arguing bail. Second, perhaps the facts are not nearly as egregious as the article seems to indicate.

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Craig Snow of Lynn, Massachusetts has been charged with violating the Massachusetts Social Host Law. The law states that anyone who sells or provides alcohol to minors or permits them to consume alcohol on your property can be charged with a crime in Massachusetts. The act occurred on March 21, 2010. A young woman was killed when a car being driven by her boyfriend drove through an intersection and crashed. The woman was ejected through the car’s sunroof. The driver, Christopher Maxson was charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide. According to reports, Snow admitted to hosting the party and claimed that the guests brought their own alcohol to is parents’ home.

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Massachusetts Man Faces Charges Stemming From Motor Vehicle Homicide

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Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers Who Defend People Accused Of Violating The Social Host Laws

The Massachusetts Social Host Law is set out in M.G.L. ch. 138 Section 34. A conviction of this law means you are guilty of a misdemeanor. There is a maximum sentence of one year in the house of correction. The law states that you can be held criminally responsible for allowing someone under the age of twenty one to consume alcohol on your property. Under Massachusetts the Social Host can be an adult or a juvenile. These charges are becoming more prevalent in Massachusetts. Essex County seems to be taking the lead on these matters. The charges are serious and require the services of an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney.

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Paul Souza, a Boston Police Fire Department lieutenant has been charged with OUI, Malicious Destruction to Property Over $250, Assault and Battery and Failure to Stop from a Police Officer stemming from his involvement in an incident in Braintree this past Friday. According to reports, Souza cut off a car that pulled out of a parking lot in front of him. Souza then confronted the driver, broke his window, shouted obscenities at him and fled. The victim followed Souza. He called the police. Souza then tried to evade the police who ultimately apprehended him. The police detected alcohol on Souza’s breath and indicated that he was uncooperative at the time of the stop. The case is pending in the Quincy District Court.

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http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/02/16/boston-firefighter-charged-in_braintree_road_rage_incident/

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Quincy, Massachusetts OUI, Assault and Battery Lawyers

Cases like this are difficult for Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyers to defend successfully at trial. The district attorney would use Souza’s behavior as his or her best evidence of the OUI charge. They would argue that alcohol either triggered his violent behavior or prevented him from maintaining his composure. Trying to evade the police and being aggressive upon apprehension are also factors that would support their position. Given Souza’s rank it is unlikely that he has a criminal record. I would imagine that his lawyer will be successful in getting these charges continued without a finding. A consequence will probably include the 24D program and perhaps anger management counseling. I am willing to bet that this case does not go to trial.

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Shortly after 11:10 p.m. yesterday a Massachusetts State Trooper observed a car pass him on Route 495 at a speed estimated around one mile per hour. A chase followed. The officer observed the vehicle exit the highway at Route 110 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. According to the officer the driver’s speeds ranged from fifty five miles per hour to eighty five miles per hour once off of the highway. Haverhill Police officers observed the car for short periods of time but were unable to follow it. The car was finally found abandoned on Central Street in Haverhill. Two men walking near the scene were arrested. One of the men, Aldis Sureo was charged with receiving stolen property. The other man, Aneudis Mendez was charged with disorderly conduct. Charged are pending in the Haverhill District Court.

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Car Chase Leads To Criminal Charges For Two Massachusetts Men

One thing that comes to mind when reading this article is why did the police stop Sureo and Mendez. Massachusetts law states that in order to lawfully conduct an investigatory stop there can be no more than a brief non-intrusive detention of the person and it must be supported by specific and articulable facts sufficient to give rise to reasonable suspicion. If officers ask questions with a show of authority an illegal seizure may have occurred. If the officers actions were sufficiently coercive or intimidating a seizure might have occurred. The positioning of officers during the encounter factors into its constitutionality as well. In cases such as this one the defendant’s chance of success often rests on the legality of the stop. A motion to suppress can at times result in a dismissal of the case.

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Around 10:30 p.m. this past Tuesday Braintree, Massachusetts police officers responded to an apartment complex after a 911 call about a fight. They were directed to Jeffrey Lynch who it turns out had two outstanding warrants for motor vehicle crimes. Further investigation suggested that Lynch and another man were having an argument. The other man’s girlfriend overheard Lynch telling someone on the telephone to bring a gun. The dispute between Lynch the man resumed during which Lynch asked one of his friends to hand him the gun. A struggle for the gun supposedly followed. When the participants heard the police sirens everyone scattered. The gun was never found. Lynch has been charged with carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon and impeding an investigation in the Quincy District Court.

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Firearms Charges Issue Against Massachusetts Man Involved In A Fight

Carrying a firearm in Massachusetts is a felony. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10(a) states that anyone who carries a firearm without a license must serve a minimum mandatory eighteen months in the house of correction and up to five years in state prison. In Massachusetts a firearm is defined as a weapon that is capable of firing a shot or bullet and has a barrel of less than sixteen inches. This law has great significance for Lynch. Since the police never found the weapon there is no way of telling whether it could fire a bullet or any to determine its actual size. Without this information there is not way the district attorney can prove the firearm charge against Lynch. That leaves the assault dangerous weapon charge and the impeding the investigation charge for Lynch to defend. It will be much easier for his lawyers to negotiation a resolution of those matters or possibly try them now that the gun charge no longer seem viable.

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James Routenberg of Westford, Massachusetts has been charged with motor vehicle homicide stemming from an incident that occurred on February 26, 2009.  According to reports, Routenberg lost control of an SUV he was driving on Worcester Road when he struck a tree.  His passenger, a 36 year old man from Maynard was killed in the crash.  Police stated that the defendant’s blood alcohol was a .20, two and one half times the legal limit.  In addition to motor vehicle homicide Routenberg is being charged with negligent operation.

Read Article:  Massachusetts Firefighter Charged With Motor Vehicle Homicide
 
Motor vehicle homicide in Massachusetts can be either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on how it is charged.  The article quoted above states that the defendant in this case faces up to fifteen years on state prison.  If the article is accurate this is considered a felony.  The Massachusetts statute making this act a crime is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24G.  The felony aspect of the law has a mandatory minimum one year jail sentence. 
 
If the blood alcohol reading is accurate this case might be difficult to try.  There are ways to suppress blood alcohol results and have them excluded at trial.  Typically this occurs when a blood sample it taken from the defendant without his consent and without the appropriate legal authority.  Hospitals often take blood from drunk driving suspects when they have been injured and need medical care.  There are times however where this is unnecessary and suppression of the results is required. 

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