June 11, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

In a Massachusetts case that is likely to have nationwide impact, accordingly to goodmorningamerica.com, a teenager was found guilty of motor vehicle homicide after causing an accident as he was texting while driving. He was the first person in that state to be charged and convicted of motor vehicle homicide for texting while driving. The defendant had pleaded not guilty to a series of charges before being convicted in court June 6.

The incident occurred on February 20 of this year when then 17-year-old Aaron Deveau was driving his automobile down a street in Boston. He allegedly was sending a text to a friend when he lost control of the car and swerved to the other side of the road, crashing head-on with a truck. The victim received massive trauma to the head to the extent that, according to his sister, “There was no hope for him.”

Deveau was arraigned on an armful of charges, including:

• Motor vehicle homicide • Negligent operation of a motor vehicle • Using a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle • Reading or sending an electronic message • Negligent operation of a motor vehicle • Illegally moving into an opposing lane of traffic • Injury from mobile phone use
The defendant argued that he was not texting when the accident occurred. However, police in charge of investigating the accident determined that the accident occurred at 2:36 p.m., and that Deveau had sent and received a message within two minutes of that time. He faces a maximum penalty of four years in state prison. The death of the victim, meanwhile, has left three children without a father.

38 states currently have laws that make texting while driving illegal, including California. This case is likely to set a precedent for others. Indeed, a dramatic upsurge in injury accidents caused by distracted individuals who text while they drive demands that courts crack down on violators.

While texting and driving is foolish and dangerous, it is so widespread that is has become common practice even for individuals who otherwise are upstanding citizens. If you are charged with vehicular homicide, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who will fight to keep you out of jail. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience defending clients. Call us today at (888) 749-0034.

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