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Operating Negligently so as to Endanger

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24 provides that anyone who operates a motor vehicle upon a public way negligently so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered is guilty of a crime. There are three essential that must be proved for you to be convicted of this offense. First, you must have operated a motor vehicle. Second, you must have done so on a public way or where the public has the right of access or where members of the public have access as guests. Third, operation must have occurred in a negligent manner so that it might have endangered the lives or safety of other people.

Massachusetts law holds that a person acts negligently when he does acts in a way that a reasonable person would not. This can happen by an affirmative act or by the failure to act when a reasonably prudent would do so. If by acting in that manner or failing to act in the appropriate manner you create an unnecessary danger to others or one that you could have avoided by acting appropriately you have can be found guilty of this crime. There does not have to be an accident for you to be convicted of this offense. Factors that are looked at in evaluating your conduct include the speed at which you were traveling, the manner of operation, the condition of your vehicle, the time of day, the type of road on which you were operating, weather conditions, the conduct of other vehicles or pedestrians and much more. Keep in mind that reckless operation can occur even on a deserted street. Intoxication can also factor into the case. Another driver’s actions are not relevant unless that driver was the sole cause of what happened.

A conviction of this offense carries a possible 2 year jail sentence.

Will I Get a Clerk Magistrate Hearing for a Charge of Operating Negligently so as to Endanger?

This simple to this question is that you might. In certain instances you definitely will. For example, if someone called in your actions and the police did not make personal observations of your manner of operation you will get a clerk’s hearing. If there was an accident, the ensuing police investigation might trigger a clerk’s hearing. If the police observed your operation and determined that a criminal complaint should issue then you might not get a clerk’s hearing. If you are handed a citation you can request a hearing by checking the correct box and sending the citation to the address listed. Even if you are guilty of negligent operation so as to endanger the clerk magistrate may, in some instances, elect not to issue the complaint. Having an experienced lawyer at your side during this hearing improves your chances of success at this proceeding. Our advice is for you to hire a lawyer. There are lots of remedies short of issuing a complaint that a good lawyer is going to be aware of and proper advocacy at a clerk’s hearing could resolve your case favorably.

Our office is geared to defending people accused of motor vehicle violations at all stages. If you get stopped and you need to go to court call us.

Case Results » Operating Negligently so as to Endanger
  • Continuance Without a Finding for Insurance Agency Owner Charge With Reckless Driving After Road Rage Incident

    Our client owns a large insurance agency. In March of 2022 he was driving behind someone operating at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit. Our client attempted to pass him on several occasions. However, the other driver kept blocking our client deliberately, not letting him pass. An exchange of middle fingers followed. Suddenly, our client proceeded to attempt to pass the man notwithstanding the efforts to block him. This resulted in our client striking the other vehicle causing a significant amount of damage. Moreover, all of this was caught on video. Our client was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle in violation of G.L. c. 90 section 24. Today, we were able to get the case continued without a finding. More importantly, the judge agreed with our request to recommend that the registry of motor vehicles not suspend our client's driver's license. 

    Read More in Motor Vehicle Crimes

  • Charges of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle Against Restaurant Worker to be Dismissed

    The defendant is a restaurant worker with no criminal record. In January of last year she was driving home from a party at a high rate of speed. She lost control of her car, injuring her passenger. She also knocked over a granite mailbox and totaled a parked pickup truck. The police arrived. They reconstructed the accident and charged her with negligent operation of a motor vehicle in violation of G.L. c. 90 section 24. Today the case was continued without a finding (CWOF) for a few months. The case will be dismissed and she will have no criminal record. 

    Read More in Motor Vehicle Crimes

  • Charges of Operating to Endanger and Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle Dismissed

    Several months ago our client was observed by police officers driving the wrong way in a rotary. In the process of doing so our client struck a vehicle being driven by someone else. The man was charged with violating G.L. c. 90 Section 24. He hired Attorney Neyman to represent him. After one court appearance our office was able to get all charges dismissed. The judge agreed with the substance of our motion that the police had not provided sufficient information with which to sustain the criminal allegation. 

    Read More in Motor Vehicle Crimes

Client Reviews
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"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts