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Motion to Dismiss Allowed - Operating on a Suspended License

December 2019

Our client was accused of Operating on a Suspended license in Massachusetts, which is a criminal charge that has a potential jail sentence associated with it as a penalty. In order to prove the defendant guilty of Operating on a Suspended License, the Commonwealth must prove the following four things:

1) That the defendant operated a motor vehicle;

2) That at the time the defendant was operating a motor vehicle his right to operate in Massachusetts had been revoked

3) That the defendant's right to operate was suspended or revoked pursuant to (a violation of section 24[1][a]) (section 24D) (section 24E) (section 24G) (section 24L) (section 24N) of chapter 90 of our General Laws; and

4) that the defendant or an agent of the defendant, such as a household member or employer, had received notice that his right to operate in Massachusetts had been or was about to be (suspended) (revoked).

See Massachusetts General Laws c. 90, §23. 

We went through the police reports that were provided by the prosecution and our client's RMV driving history. We noticed that the RMV sent a suspension letter the day before our client was caught driving. However, the suspension letter was not received by the Post Office until a few days after our client was caught driving, therefore, making it impossible for our client to know their license was suspended. 

We filed a Motion to Dismiss based on this information. We argued that the Commonwealth could not prove our client Operated a Motor Vehicle while knowing his license was suspended. We argued that the Commonwealth's own evidence proves the inexistence of an essential element required for conviction under M.G.L. c. 90, §23. After arguments, the judge agreed with us and allowed our Motion to Dismiss. 

Practice area(s): Criminal Defense

David Ellison

David Ellison, Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Lawyer in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is an aggressive, honest & affordable attorney. 

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