Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers Badge
Avvo Badge
Massachusetts Bar Association

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
  • 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

  • Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle Charges Against Physician Dismissed

    Our client is a physician living in the Merrimack Valley. Several weeks ago motorists on a major interstate highway made 911 calls complaining of someone driving erratically and nearly causing several traffic collisions. The police located the vehicle and made similar observations. The officers stopped the vehicle and ultimately charged our client, a local physician with operating to endanger in violation of G.L. c. 90 Section 24. Attorney Neyman was hired to represent him. Today, we were able to get a judge to allow our motion to dismiss.

    Read More in Motor Vehicle Crimes

  • Charges of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Marked Lanes Violation Dismissed

    Less than one month ago police in a southeastern Massachusetts town responded to a call for a motor vehicle that had run off the roadway and into a wooded area. Witnesses  to the incident told the police that they had observed the driver operating erratically and in a manner that put the public at risk. The vehicle was swerving from lane to lane without signaling and nearly hitting several other moving cars. Based on these reports and a reconstruction of the accident using photographs and various measurements of skid marks as well as pole camera evidence the defendant was charged with violating G.L. c. 90 Section 24. Attorney Neyman was hired and scheduled this case for trial today. All charges were dismissed. 

    Read More in Motor Vehicle Crimes

Client Reviews
"We went to trial and won. He saved me fifteen years mandatory in state prison for this case." A.C. Boston, Massachusetts
"I hired him and he got the case dismissed before I had to go into a courtroom. My school never found out and if they had I would have lost my academic scholarships. He really saved my college career." Melissa C. Cold Spring, New York, October 2013
"My union rep told me to call Steve Neyman. From the get go I felt comfortable with him. He took the time to talk to me about my case whenever I needed .... He even gave me his personal cell number and took all my calls. We won the case and I kept my job." Bart L. S.
"The best criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts. Takes all of his client's calls at any time of the day or night. He was always there for me and my family. Steve saved my life." Jacquille D. Brockton, Massachusetts
"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts