When Melanie's Law was passed in 2005, Massachusetts lawmakers increased the penalties for manslaughter while operating under the influence (OUI). Because the sentence for Massachusetts manslaughter OUI includes a significant period of incarceration as well as the potential for a lifetime driver's license suspension, hiring an experienced OUI defense lawyer is in your best interests.
Involuntary manslaughter is the crime of unintentionally causing the death of another person while engaging in reckless, malicious, or negligent conduct; however, many OUI cases involving a fatality are filed as a vehicular manslaughter charge by the prosecuting attorney.
A defendant who commits manslaughter while impaired by alcohol or other controlled substances may face a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence. The maximum sentence for this charge is twenty years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The driver's license suspension for a person convicted of manslaughter OUI is 15 years, though there is the real possibility of a lifetime license revocation.
Fighting OUI manslaughter charges in Massachusetts probably seems daunting, however it can be done successfully with the right defense attorney and a team of experts. Your OUI attorney may work with a toxicology expert to investigate the results of your breath, blood, or urine test. If the toxicologist discovers that your reading was inaccurate or the test contained errors, your attorney may challenge the results and argue that you were not under the influence when the accident occurred.
An accident reconstruction specialist may also be called in to determine the events that led up to the fatal accident. This specialist will return to the accident scene to collect evidence and often speak with eyewitnesses in order to determine who or what was at fault for the collision. If this specialist finds that you were not responsible for the accident, you may win your case.
The Jones & Geraghty has access to a team of expert witnesses who can help fight your Massachusetts manslaughter OUI case. Because this is such a serious crime, you need an attorney with years of proven and successful experience defending people against this charge.