Commonwealth Must Prove Causation Was “Direct and Substantial”

by | Apr 17, 2013

In a new opinion in Commonwealth v. Spotti, 2013 WL 1490996, — A.3d — (April 12, 2013), the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed defendant’s conviction for aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI because the defendant’s reckless driving was not a direct and substantial factor in victim’s injuries.

The defendant in Spotti was driving under the influence of alcohol, and driving erratically and recklessly.  The defendant swerved his car, causing another to veer to avoid colliding with defendant’s car, which caused that person to crash into a van parked on the side of the road.  The van then struck a tow truck.  Two people who were changing a tire on the van were severely injured when the accident occurred.

To read the majority opinion in Spotti, authored by Judge Bender, download the PDF here.  To read the concurring and dissenting opinion (PDF download), authored by Judge Strassburger, click here.

If you enjoyed this post, check out this article about criminal defense.

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