Reckless Driving Massachusetts Injury Person Property Knowingly Norfolk
Commonwealth v. Collins
Defendant challenged the decision from the trial court (Massachusetts), which convicted him of, upon a public way, reckless driving of an automobile and knowingly going away without stopping and making himself known after causing injury to any person or property.
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The Massachusetts Court made the following holding:
- Antecedent conduct may be found to be reckless, even though all possible care may be exercised after the specific danger is actually discovered. A person might be guilty of reckless driving although no one was upon street.
- “Knowingly” is a word frequently inserted in statutes creating crimes. It commonly imports a perception of the facts requisite to make up the crime. For one who operates an automobile “knowingly” to go away without making himself known requires a consciousness not only of the fact that he is going away, but of the further fact that he has not made himself known. If in truth he has delegated the duty of revealing his identity to an agent, and honestly and with good reason supposes that this delegated duty has been performed, he cannot be said “knowingly” to have failed to do what the statute requires, even if the agent did not discharge his duty. If the transaction was genuine throughout, the driver of the automobile may thoroughly, though mistakenly believe that the requirement of the law has been observed.
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These summaries are provided by the Gilmore & Sris Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The Original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.