OUI Causing Serious Injury

Operating Under the Influence Causing Serious Injury

Operating under the influence causing serious injury is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24L. There are two branches to this offense, one being a felony and the other being a misdemeanor.

Section 24L(1) is the felony branch, and it involves the following five elements which the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant operated a vehicle.

  2. The defendant did so in a place open to public access, in a place where members of the public have access as licensees or invitees, or on a way.

  3. The defendant operated the vehicle while he/she was under the influence of liquor, narcotic drugs, marijuana, a depressant, a stimulant, or glue.

  4. The defendant operated the vehicle recklessly or negligently so as to endanger the public.

  5. The defendant’s conduct caused a serious bodily injury to another person. A “serious” bodily injury is one which either: (a) involves a total disability; (a) involves the loss of a bodily function for a substantial time period; (c) involves substantial impairment of a bodily function for a substantial time period; or (d) created a substantial risk of death. The government only has to prove that the defendant’s actions set a chain of events into motion, and that that chain of events produced the injury.

Section 24L(2) is the misdemeanor branch of the crime. The elements are the same except for the fourth element. To be convicted of operating under the influence causing serious injury under Section 24L(2), the prosecutor is not required to prove that the defendant operated the vehicle recklessly.


If convicted under §24L(1), the mandatory minimum sentence is 2.5 years in the state prison or 6 months in a jail or house of correction. The sentence could reach up to 10 years in the state prison or up to 2.5 years in jail. Such a conviction could also entail a fine of up to $5,000. If convicted under §24L(2), the potential sentence is up to 2.5 years in a jail or house of correction or a fine of at least $300, or both. Anyone convicted of this crime under either §24L(1) or §24L(2) will have their license revoked for 2 years.

Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crimes Defense Lawyer: 617–973–5858

Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. is a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney with an outstanding reputation. Since Attorney Wheeler began practicing 30 years ago, he has focused on criminal defense. Not only does he have this vast experience, but he also has an uncommon commitment to his clients as individuals. If you have been charged with any crime in any city or town in Massachusetts, do not hesitate to call the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. at 617–973–5858 or to contact Attorney Wheeler online.