Boston.com reports today that a forty six year old Dorchester, Massachusetts man has been charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide stemming from an incident that occurred last week. It is alleged the defendant was driving his vehicle on Morrissey on September 14, 2012 when he hit a sixty three year old bicyclist. The impact of the collision threw the victim from the bicycle leaving him dead at the scene. The accused remained at the scene and called 911. The responding police officer reported that the defendant admitted to having one drink prior to the incident. The defendant asked to go to the hospital and quickly hired an attorney prompting police to honor his constitutional rights and cease all questioning. The officer at the hospital noted that the suspect exhibited the following: 1) a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person; 2) speech was slurred; 3) tongue was “thick and pasty” and 4) unsteady on his feet. An accident reconstructionist believed the defendant was driving twenty miles per hour over the speed limit. The case is pending in the Dorchester District Court.
Dorchester, Massachusetts Criminal Attorney
From the perspective of a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer the accused in this case did the right thing. I have said on countless occasions that no one can talk his or her way out of being charged with a crime. People suspected of criminal activity who talk to the police usually provide the information necessary to secure a conviction. The reason for this is simple. The police are trained to ask questions and to ask them in a certain way. They often leave the suspect with a false sense comfort and implicitly suggest that their cooperation will benefit them if the case gets prosecuted. Their objective is to prove a suspect’s involvement in criminal activity regardless of what they tell you. The unassuming subject will talk to the police believing he is helping himself. He is wrong about this. His cooperation will hurt him.
Conversely, people who invoke their 5th Amendment Right to Remain Silent make the prosecution prove its case with evidence collected from the crime scene, the testimony of people who witness the event and other evidence that might support its case. Here for instance, the prosecution is going to have to rely primarily on the representations of the responding officer. The information in the report is boilerplate. The strong odor of alcohol, being unsteady on his feet, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech are phrases used in almost all drunk driving police reports. I wish that Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorneys would keep a database of police officer’s reports because in my experience the content varies only slightly from report to report with these types of cases. Observations such as these are certainly subject to challenge from the experienced criminal lawyer. How did the defendant walk and talk before the arrest? What did his eyes look like before the incident? Now, try to get the office to explain exactly what he means by the “strong odor of alcohol coming from his person”.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is prepared to defend you. Call us at 617-263-6800 or email our office to discuss your case. Call a lawyer before you do anything else. We can help.