Kennedy Segars, 18, was killed as the result of a car crash with an intoxicated driver on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Segars is a Georgia native who attended Alabama State University. She was driving home to visit her mother for her mother's birthday.
She was rear-ended while a passenger in a car driving through DeKalb County. The car was struck by 52-year-old Reginald Stubbs, who was allegedly intoxicated at the time. Segars was killed as the result of the crash, while Stubbs survived.
Stubbs has been charged with:
- first-degree vehicular homicide,
- driving under the influence (DUI),
- serious injury by vehicle, and
- following too closely.
If you or someone you care for has been charged with DUI in Georgia, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can represent you to defend your case.
Serious Injury by Vehicle
Georgia Code Section § 40-6-394 defines Serious Injury by Vehicle as:
“caus[ing] 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 O.C.G.A. § 4-6-390 [Reckless Driving] or O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391 [DUI].”
A Georgia prosecutor is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that
- a person was deprived a member of his or her body;
- the member of the body was rendered useless, usually through paralysis;
- serious disfigurement was caused to a person's body; or
- the person suffered organic brain damage.
Serious injury is not defined in the statute but has been held to include
- broken bones,
- severe burns,
- disfigurement (especially if long-lasting or permanent),
- loss of limb,
- loss of sight or hearing,
- severe scarring (especially if visible).
Serious injury must be proven as part of the prosecutor's case. When the injury is not significant enough to rise to the level of "severe" a charge of serious injury by vehicle will not apply.
No Need to Prove Intent
Unlike many serious felony charges, no intent is necessary to commit the crime of serious injury by vehicle. A driver may not state that he or she never intended to cause harm or get into an accident as a defense.
Penalties for Serious Injury by Vehicle
Serious injury by vehicle is a felony offense and carries serious penalties. If convicted of this offense you could face a minimum of one year in prison or a maximum prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Further, you now face the stigma and restrictions that accompany a "felon" status. You may face trouble obtaining certain certifications or licenses and finding or maintaining employment. You will also lose the right to own a firearm and the right to vote.
Consult a Georgia DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you need a highly experienced Georgia DUI attorney to fight for your rights at every stage of the criminal proceedings. Remember, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty. Contact us today.