If I Leave the Scene of an Accident, What Will Happen?
You're driving home after dinner with friends. You may have had a few beers, but you think you're okay to drive. The next thing you know, there was a crash. You'll be shaken up, and confused about what just happened, and may be tempted to drive away. After all, an accident will mean you may have to pay for the other driver's repairs, and even medical bills if they were injured. An accident will also mean calling the police. Even if the accident didn't have to do with alcohol, the police may arrest you for a DUI. What should you do? Leaving the scene of an accident can result in very serious criminal charges, and can land you in jail for years.
Georgia Hit and Run Laws
The law says that you have certain duties when involved in an accident. If you hit a parked car, with no one inside, you have to stop. Even if no one saw you, you are required by law to try and find the owner, or leave a written notice of your name and address. Trying to get away with it can make matters worse, because you never know who's watching. All someone has to do is get a look at your license plate, and the next thing you know, police could be knocking on your door.
Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury is a much bigger deal. After an accident resulting in injury or death of another person, or in vehicle damage, the driver is required to stop at, or return to the scene. The law requires the driver to give their name, address and vehicle registration, and show their driver's license if requested. If another person is injured, the driver is also required to render reasonable assistance. If the injured person is unconscious or can't communicate, the other driver has to make every reasonable effort to ensure that law enforcement and medical services are contacted.
In a serious injury hit and run, the defendant can be charged with a felony. Failing to stop and comply with these requirements in an accident that caused death or serious injury is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison.
A DUI conviction can lead to 10 days in jail, fines, and a suspended license. If the driver is caught leaving the scene of an accident, and also found to be driving under the influence, then the penalties will greater than for a DUI alone. However, in some cases, the police may have been mistaken, thinking you are leaving the accident when you were intending to stop at a safe location.
Atlanta Hit and Run Lawyer
Whether or not you left the accident scene of a parked car, or drove away from a major accident, you still have rights and you have defenses. A conviction for a hit and run accident that involved serious injury can put a felony crime on your record, and land you in jail for years. If you are facing hit and run charges, or a DUI hit and run, you need an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer to stand up for you, and fight to keep you out of jail. Call me today so we can discuss your case, and fight to keep your record clean.