An 8-year-old boy riding a bicycle was hit by a car on a rural road in Spalding County this past week. Reports show that the driver of the vehicle isn't facing any criminal charges, and that the boy's injuries were not life-threatening.
However, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I have seen these situations turn in to charges after more investigation is done by the state. In today's post, I will outline the offense of serious injury by vehicle as it is frequently charged when a pedestrian or a bicyclist or even in a passenger or another driver is injured.
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 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.
By law, a serious injury is defined as: fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, or loss of consciousness. Moreover, a serious injury does not need to be permanent in order to be considered serious. A serious, temporary injury is sufficient and only needs to impair or injure the appearance of a person. In the past, injuries such as loss of vision in one eye, blurry vision, a two-inch scar on the forehead, broken ribs, and severe bruising have all been considered serious injuries by Georgia Courts. It is up to the jury to determine whether an injury is serious.
This law does not require that any malicious intent to harm be proven. As a result, defenses such as where a person did not intend to get in an accident or commit the offense of reckless driving in Georgia in order to be charged with serious injury by vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for anything from DUI to marijuana possession in Georgia, contact our offices today.