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.
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.
Stephen Neyman is a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Homicide Defense Lawyer with over twenty years defending the accused in Massachusetts and throughout the country. If you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor call us at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.