How Can I Be Charged For Homicide In A Car Accident?
Many of us have been involved in some kind of traffic accident in our lives. For most people, it may just be a minor fender bender, which may cost us some money out of pocket, higher insurance rates, and a major headache. However, more major accidents can involve more than just a dented bumper. In some cases, a car accident can result in major injury or even death. It is a tragic event. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that more than 32,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014. But if the driver isn't at fault, they shouldn't have to pay the price of years of imprisonment for something that was an accident.
Atlanta Homicide by Vehicle
Georgia law makes it a criminal offense for drivers to violate some traffic code that causes the death of another. Death of another doesn't just mean the other driver or their passengers. If your traffic violation, like an illegal lane change, makes another driver swerve and hit a pedestrian, you may be charged with homicide by vehicle. For most traffic offenses that cause the death of another, vehicular homicide in the second degree is a misdemeanor. A second-degree conviction can lead to up to a year in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines.
When a driver commits certain code violations, they may be charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle. A first-degree charge is a felony, and can result in some serious jail time. Under Georgia Code 40-6-393, any person who causes the death of another person through a violation of reckless driving, or a few other code violations, commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree. Upon conviction, they shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 15 years.
This also applies to drivers who cause a death when they unlawfully met or overtook a school bus; failed to stop after a collision; attempted to flee from law enforcement; or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DUI that ends in a homicide will also result in mandatory penalties under Georgia DUI laws.
In the most extreme case, where a habitual violator driving on a revoked license causes a fatality, the penalties range from a minimum of 5 years in jail, up to 20 years behind bars. Drivers are deemed habitual violators after a third DUI offense, and have their licenses revoked for 5 years, and their license plates are confiscated.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer for Vehicular Homicide Charges
Traffic accidents often involve two sides of the story. However, when a death is involved, and one driver was charged with a code violation such as reckless driving or DUI, they may be charged with homicide by vehicle, even if they think the other driver was at fault for the accident. Before you risk your freedom, and a felony criminal record, you need to talk to an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer who can defend you in court. Every defendant has defenses available, that can get their charges reduced, or have their case dismissed. Call me today so we can discuss your arrest, criminal charges, and what we will do to fight for your rights.