Operating Under the Influence Causing Death (OUI- Manslaughter)

Massachusetts Manslaughter Lawyer

Boston OUI Attorney

In Massachusetts, many new motor vehicles crimes were established as a result of "Melanie's Law" which was passed in 2005. The most serious of those new offenses is Operating Under the Influence Causing Death, or OUI- Manslaughter

This charge carries up to 25 years in state prison, a $25,000 fine, and a lifetime license loss.  The MINIMUM MANDATORY sentence for this offense is 5 years in state prison and a 15 year license loss. 

In order to be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must prove that you did all of the following:
  • Operated a motor vehicle
  • On a public way, or a way to which the public has a right of access
  • While under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • In a reckless or negligent way that placed the public in danger
  • Causing the death of another person
Each of these elements must be present in order to be convicted under this statute. Thus, if you killed someone while driving around drunk in a private driveway, you cannot be found guilty. If your driving was "by the book" and the victim jumped out in front of your car while you were obeying all traffic laws, then even if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you cannot be found guilty. And, of course, the prosecution must overcome all of the inherent problems with ordinary OUI investigations in order to prove that you were under the influence; otherwise, you cannot be found guilty. 

These cases are extremely complex, and the stakes couldn't be higher. It is important that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney if you are charged, or believe that you may be charged, with this offense. 

If you have been charged with any Massachusetts motor vehicle crime, contact our office immediately: 

(617) 830-2188