Posts tagged "Burnham"

Commonwealth v. Burnham (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-148-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-826                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CHRISTOPHER J. BURNHAM.     No. 15-P-826.   Hampshire.     April 13, 2016. – October 13, 2016.   Present:  Wolohojian, Agnes, & Neyman, JJ.     Motor Vehicle, Operating under the influence, Citation for violation of motor vehicle law.  Practice, Criminal, Citation for violation of motor vehicle laws, Dismissal.     Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 6, 2014.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Mary-Lou Rup, J.     Cynthia M. Von Flatern, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. James Petersen for the defendant.     NEYMAN, J.  The defendant, Christopher J. Burnham, was involved in a single-car accident, and indicted for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OUI), subsequent offense.  The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charge, claiming that the citation for OUI was not issued in compliance with G. L. c. 90C, § 2.  Following an evidentiary hearing, a Superior Court judge allowed the motion. The sole issue on appeal is whether the issuance of a citation to the defendant, more than four and one-half months after the police officers had concluded their investigation, violated the provisions of G. L. c. 90C, § 2, and mandated dismissal of the indictment.  Where the defendant did not have prompt and definite notice of the offense for which he was charged, and the delay in issuing the citation was not justified under any of the exceptions to the statutory requirement to provide the citation at the time and place of the violation, dismissal was warranted. Background.  We summarize the judge’s findings.[1]  In the early morning of November 24, 2013, Officers Kyle Gribi and Eric Alexander of the Easthampton police department arrived at the scene of a single-car accident.  Officer Gribi, trained as an emergency medical technician, observed and attended to the driver (the defendant), who “was unresponsive, but later regained consciousness.”  Officer Gribi stabilized the defendant’s cervical spine and maintained his airway.  Approximately ten minutes after the officers’ arrival, an ambulance arrived and took the defendant to Baystate Medical Center (Baystate).  The officers did not accompany the defendant to the hospital.  The judge credited testimony that “neither officer detected any indicia of the defendant being intoxicated during their investigation of the scene.” While at the scene, Officer Alexander learned that the defendant’s license had been suspended, and Officer […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm

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