Police in Atlanta are on the search for suspects responsible for stealing a car from a valet service and hitting valet employees while driving away.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline one of the possible serious charges faced by the unidentified suspect other than theft and aggravated assault - serious injury by vehicle.
Serious injury by vehicle is an offense that unfortunately often accompanies cases of DUI in Georgia where an accident has been involved. I will outline the law below
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia
According to the Georgia Code, Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia is defined as:
Whoever, without malice, shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless through the violation of Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle. A person convicted under this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 15 years.
This means that if a driver has caused another person a serious injury as a result of DUI or reckless driving in Georgia, then he or she is facing a felony conviction and a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
As you can see from the statute above, the law does not require any sort of intent in order for the offense to be proven. It does not matter if the accused driver intended to drive recklessly, intended to drive under the influence, or intended to cause a serious injury with his or her vehicle. The intent factor of this crime is irrelevant. Therefore, defenses involving the driver's intent will not apply.
It is also important for Georgians to understand that a person can be charged with multiple counts of serious injury by vehicle if there was more than one person injured in the accident. The multiple counts will not merge, and therefore, even more serious penalties may apply.
When DUI or reckless driving is accompanied by an accident or an injury, the state's case against the accused driver is relatively strong. This is because there is even more “evidence” that the accused driver was less safe to drive or operate a motor vehicle.
This does not mean that one should go without representation if he or she has been arrested for this offense. Bottom line is that your best defense starts with an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia DUI Attorney. Contact our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested.