This post will answer some frequently asked questions on the legal defense of accident.
What is an accident?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts defines an accident as an unexpected happening that occurs without intention or design on the defendant’s part. It means a sudden, unexpected event that takes place without the defendant intending it.
If a criminal offense is not a pure and simple accident, it’s legally considered to be intentionally committed.
Who has the burden of proving something was NOT an accident?
The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what occurred was not an accident. If the Commonwealth has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what occurred was not an accident, then the defendant must be found NOT GUILTY.
What is the difference between unintended conduct and unintended consequences?
An accident considered as unintended conduct focuses on the nature of the conduct that produced the result and not simply on the result alone.
An accident considered as an unintended consequence means it is the unintended consequence of a defendant’s act. It is a defense only if the Commonwealth is required to prove that the defendant intended the consequences of his or her act.
What kinds of evidence can be introduced in the case of an abusive relationship?
Where there is a claim of accidental injury to another, a defendant can introduce either or both:
1. Evidence that the defendant is or has been the victim of acts of physical, sexual or psychological harm or abuse.
2. Evidence by expert testimony regarding:
To establish any of the following:
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.