Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

People v. Cabrera

Court of Appeals of New York
887 N.E.2d 1132 (2008)


Facts

A group of teenagers took two vehicles to drive to a local lake. Seventeen-year-old Brett Cabrera (defendant) drove one of the vehicles. Cabrera had only a graduated driver’s license that (1) allowed no more than two passengers under the age of 21 who were not family members and (2) required Cabrera to ensure that all passengers wore seatbelts. However, Cabrera’s vehicle contained four non-family-member passengers, all under the age of 21, and none of the passengers wore seatbelts. While navigating the curvy mountain road leading to the lake, Cabrera was speeding and lost control of the vehicle, resulting in the vehicle going off the road and down an embankment. Three passengers died, and the other was critically injured. The surviving passenger said that Cabrera was not distracted while driving and that the first time the passenger noticed any problem was when the back of the vehicle started to swerve as Cabrera lost control. A crime-scene analyst determined that Cabrera was going approximately 70 miles per hour when he entered the curve. The speed limit for the curve was 40 miles per hour. Police officers noted that the curve had been the scene of multiple prior incidents. Cabrera was convicted, among other charges, of (1) three counts of criminally negligent homicide under Penal Law § 125.10 and (2) one count of third-degree assault under Penal Law § 120.00(3). The appellate court affirmed the convictions. Cabrera appealed on the grounds that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support criminal negligence, or (2) alternatively, the trial judge erred in declining a jury instruction stating that excessive speed or violations of junior licenses were insufficient, alone, to show criminal negligence.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Read, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Dissent (Graffeo, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.