You may be driving home from a restaurant in Atlanta, and the next thing you know, there was a crash. Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and immediately afterwards you may be doing a quick self-evaluation to make sure you and your passengers are okay. If you are okay, you may get out to get a look at the car, and the other driver and passengers. Regardless of whether you think the other driver was the cause of the accident, if anyone has a serious injury, if you were under the influence of alcohol or driving recklessly, you may be facing 15 years in jail.
Facing Criminal Charges for Serious Injury After an Accident?
The criminal violation of serious injury by use of a motor vehicle can result in a felony conviction, with a jail sentence of from 1 to 15 years. It doesn't matter if you did not intend to injure anyone, and it doesn't matter if the person sustaining a serious injury was a pedestrian, cyclist, or even your own passenger. Causing bodily harm to another with a DUI or reckless driving is a criminal offense.
The criminal code describes serious injury by motor vehicle as causing bodily harm by depriving a person of a member of their body, or rendering a member useless. It also includes seriously disfiguring another person or causing brain damage that renders a part of the body useless. These injuries do not have to be life-threatening, and do not even have to be permanent. If an injury heals perfectly, it could still be considered as the basis for a criminal charge. In some cases, hearing damage, blurred vision, and even a two-inch scar have been enough to convict drivers.
If charged with a DUI and serious injury by vehicle, the state won't be able to convict a driver for both offenses, because it is considered one crime. However, if two people are injured in an accident, the driver can be charged with two separate serious injury by vehicle charges, one for each victim.
In order to be convicted for serious injury by vehicle, the state will have to show that you were driving under the influence or driving recklessly. If you can beat the DUI charges, then the serious injury by vehicle charge will fall apart. Having an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer can be the first step to having your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. After all, you shouldn't have to go to jail when the other driver was the one who caused the accident.
Atlanta DUI and Serious Injury By Vehicle Lawyer
After an arrest for a DUI accident, you need to consider all the penalties that come with a serious injury by vehicle conviction. You'll lose your license for 3 years, and won't even be able to get a limited driving permit. But most importantly, you may face up to 15 years behind bars. Contact an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer who will fight to keep the charges off your record, so you can keep your license, and stay out of jail. Contact my office today, so we can keep your record clean.