On December 7, 2013 police arrested 32-year-old Mauricio Velasquez of Springfield for motor vehicle homicide, operating under the influence, and other crimes after being involved in a head-on crash in Easthampton, MA that left 2 dead and 3 injured. The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office has identified the man and young girl killed in the head-on crash as 71-year-old Charles Hoffman of Easthampton and a 3-year-old girl that is believed to be Velasquez’s daughter.
Officials say Hoffman’s pickup was struck by an oncoming van that crossed the center line while being driven by Velasquez. A woman riding with Hoffman, a second passenger in Velasquez’s van, as well as Velasquez himself were all seriously injured. Velasquez is currently being detained on $50,000 bail and it is not yet clear if he has a lawyer.
Though it may seem that this is a strong case against Velasquez, there are many factors that must be examined. In order to fight this case, Velasquez’s best bet is to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who will look into the validity of the evidence gathered against him. For example, the Commonwealth must not only prove that a life was lost because of the accident but also that Velasquez caused the accident. In this case, it is clear that two lives were lost because of the accident but it is not clear that Velasquez was the cause of it. There are many things that could have happened to cause Velasquez’s vehicle to hit Hoffman’s vehicle. A skilled criminal defense attorney would have to take time to gather evidence in a number of ways such as: accident reconstruction, crime scene investigation, and witness interviews in order to protect Velasquez’s rights to the fullest extent. All these factors play a huge part in whether or not Velasquez can be convicted of Motor Vehicle Homicide.
In order for Velasquez to be convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, the Commonwealth must prove that he operated a motor vehicle, on a public way (where the public has a right of access), while under the influence of alcohol. It is not in dispute that Velasquez was operating a motor vehicle on a public way so the key factor is whether or not he was under the influence of alcohol. In order for Velasquez to fight the case, he should hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who would examine many things in order to disprove this charge. For example, if Velasquez was given field sobriety tests, which is highly unlikely because he was injured by the accident, a skilled defense attorney would look into whether those tests were administered correctly, who administered them, and whether or not Velasquez was a proper candidate for those specific tests. If Velasquez was given a breathalyzer, a skilled defense attorney would have to look into the validity of the breathalyzer machine (calibration check). All of these factors play a part in the outcome of Velasquez’s case and whether or not he can be convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
If you have been charged with an OUI, motor vehicle homicide, or other criminal offense in Massachusetts, contact my office immediately for your free initial consultation:
(617) 830 – 2188