Negligent Operation / Reckless Driving in Massachusetts

Learn more about negligent operation and why this charge is frequently coupled with other charges

A common charge that accompanies an OUI charge in Massachusetts is a charge for negligent operation of a motor vehicle. A negligent operation charge may also be brought when the motorist is not charged with OUI, but involved in a car accident. Two common ways negligent operation charge:

  1. With an OUI offense

  2. After a car accident.

What does the Commonwealth have prove to show negligent operation?

A charge of negligent operation in Massachusetts involves the police claiming that you drove a motor vehicle so that the lives and the safety of the public may have been endangered. Essentially, any deviation from the standard of that of perfect driving could result in a negligent operation charge.

A negligent operation charge can result when an accident occurs, it is often an additional charge in a Massachusetts OUI arrest, and sometimes can occur when a police officer claims that the driving was so egregious or dangerous that it goes beyond a simple traffic infraction.

  • Is there a license loss for negligent operation?

A negligent operation charge could result in a sixty day loss of license if the resolution in the case results in what is known as a conviction in Massachusetts.

  • A guilty finding on a negligent operation will result in a 60 day license loss

It is important to know that a conviction in Massachusetts means a guilty finding, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will not consider a Continuance Without a Finding, referred to as a CWOF as a conviction. If you have little or no record, you would likely be offered a CWOF to resolve the case. However, in many cases a negligent operation charge be resolved short of a probationary period, but with a dismissal upon completing a driving course or paying court costs.

Accordingly a CWOF can be a good resolution of a negligent operation charge and has a significant difference between a guilty finding in this type of offence. It is important to understand that the rule that a CWOF is not a conviction does not apply with regard to the offense of OUI/DUI.

  • What penalties will I receive if I admit to a CWOF on a negligent operation charge?

A continuance without a finding would require you to be on probation and would be an admission that you drove negligently and endangered the lives and the safety but would not result in a license loss.

  • A Negligent Operation Charge by also be dismissed under certain circumstances:

Learn about what happens at a clerk magistrate hearing when charged with negligent operation.

In many cases in a negligent operation offense the charge can be resolved short of an admission on your part. Sometimes the case can be resolved with a payment of court costs, pretrial probation or completion of a driver’s education program, sometimes known as a Brains at Risk program as a condition of the disposition of the case. A negligent operation charge has consequences for your insurance rates, your criminal record and license status.

If you are curious and want to learn more about a CWOF, click here.

It is important to speak to an experienced attorney when being charged with this offense. In some cases a negligent operation offense would also be scheduled for a clerk magistrate hearing, which is an opportunity for you to resolve the case prior to the formal charges being brought in court. If you have any questions about defending a negligent operation charge in Massachusetts you can call Attorney Delsignore at 508-455-4755 or 781-686-5924.

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Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him
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A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
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Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
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Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! Either him or his partner Julie was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
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I cannot express the gratitude towards both Michael and Julie for their amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael and Julie over and over again. Claire
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