Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle

Section 24(2)(a) of chapter 90 of Massachusetts General Laws provides as follows: “Whoever, upon any way or in any place to which the public has a right of access, or [in] any place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, operates a motor vehicle . . . negligently so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered . . . shall be punished . . . .”

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A person acts negligently when he fails to use due care, that is, when he acts in a way that a reasonable person would not act. This can happen either by doing something that a reasonably prudent person would not do under those circumstances, or by failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do. The defendant acted negligently if he/she drove in a way that a reasonable person would not have, and by doing so created an unnecessary danger to other people, a danger that he/she could have avoided by driving more carefully.

In order to convict someone of operating a motor vehicle negligently in a manner that might endanger the public, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant operated a motor vehicle;
  2. That he/she did so (on a way) or (in a place where the public has a right of access) or (in a place where members of the public have access as invitees or licensees); and
  3. That he/she did so in a negligent manner so that the lives or safety of the public might have been endangered.

 

If You Have Been Charged With Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle

If you have been charged with Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, call McCormack Law today to begin preparing your defenses.

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