A fifteen year old girl was crossing Waverly Street shortly after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday August 20th when she was strike by a white Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle stopped briefly but the operator never got out of the car. According to Framingham Police the driver who was identified as Jose Cartagena was arrested about forty minutes later after a witness provided the police with the car’s plate number and a description of the driver. The victim was taken to a locan hospital. The status of her condition was not released. When questioned by police Cartagena denied driving the car tried to blame his brother. The brother told officers that he never permitted Cartagena to drive the car.
Cartagena was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, use without authority and operating without a driver’s license. He was arraigned in the Framingham District Court where he entered a plea of not guilty. He was released on personal recognizance.
To find Cartagena guilty of using the car without authority the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements: 1) that Cartagena used the vehicle; 2) that he did so on a public way; 3) that he lacked permission to use the vehicle; and 4) that he knew the use of the car was unauthorized. The first two elements will be easily met by the prosecution. That third element might present them with some problems. It is not uncommon for siblings not to testify favorably for one another. While Cartagena’s brother initially told the police that he did not permit the defendant to use the car his story might change; he might deny that he provided police with that information or he might tell the prosecution that while he did not give specific permission for Cartagena to use the car that night he regularly allowed him to use it. This would give Cartagena a legitimate defense to this charge in that he had a valid belief that his use of the car was permitted.
The charge of leaving the scene of an accident will present the defense with a greater challenge. A conviction of that crime requires a six month jail sentence.
Stephen Neyman is committed to defending people accused of all crimes in Massachusetts. Hit and run in Massachusetts is a serious offense. If handled correctly by knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers you will usually have a chance at a very good result. When hiring a Massachusetts criminal attorney be sure that you are retaining someone who has experience with the crime with which you have been charged and that the lawyer works in the court where your case is pending. For over twenty years we have been working in all courts in Massachusetts. We are in Framingham regularly. Contact our office now to discuss your case.
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