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Criminal defense: Company operator charged with homicide

A 28-year-old operator of a limousine business has found himself charged with homicide after a crash that took the lives of 20 people on Oct. 6. The man, who operates the service in New York State, is being charged by prosecutors for the crash, which they say was caused by negligent maintenance. The man's criminal defense representation has come out strongly against these charges, saying that the client is unequivocally not guilty.

The details of the crash were not articulated, because the case focuses more upon the factors that led to the tragic accident. According to the New York State Police Superintendant, the vehicle involved in the crash did not meet numerous safety standards. Police say the 28-year-old had been informed by the Department of Transportation back in September that the vehicle was unfit to be on the road. It is alleged that the man knew this, but chose to keep the vehicle in operation regardless.

The Department of Transportation also flagged several other vehicles in the man's fleet, culminating in a Sept. 4 flag of an issue with the braking system. The driver of the vehicle, who died in the crash, had reportedly expressed concern about the state of the vehicle to his wife and the company, but chose to drive it anyway. The operator is being accused for the alleged maintenance failures that may have played a role in the crash. His father, who owns the company, is not being criminally charged.

If the man is found guilty of negligent homicide, he will likely lose his business as well as his freedom, and his employees will also lose their jobs. Of course, safety is the ultimate concern of New York authorities, but a careful investigation must be conducted before formal charges are brought. The role of the man's criminal defense team will be to build a defense not just for the operator of the company, but in many ways, for the company itself.

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