Lavonia, Ga. - A driver is facing charges of first-degree vehicular homicide in connection to a fatal crash involving a Franklin County officer.
According to reports, the driver struck the officer as he was helping the driver and passengers of another vehicle that had been involved in its own wreck off of I-85. Investigators believe that alcohol or reckless driving may have played a factor.
As a Franklin County DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the crime of vehicular homicide in today's post as well as the consequences and penalties if convicted of this offense. See below.
Vehicular Homicide in Georgia
Georgia law O.C.G.A. §40-6-393 outlines the degrees of vehicular homicide in Georgia. A person will be charged with homicide by vehicle in the first degree when, without malice aforethought, a death is caused by the person either unlawfully passing a school bus, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude a police office, or leaving the scene of the accident. Homicide by vehicle in the second degree occurs when death results due to a violation of any other statute other than the ones specified for homicide in the first degree.
First degree vehicular homicide is regarded as felony-grade vehicular homicide charge occurs when a death is the result of DUI or reckless driving. Convictions of felony-grade vehicular homicide may warrant up to 15 years in prison.
In addition to penalties decided by a judge, the offender could also face a civil suit brought on by the victim's family. In a civil suit, the judge could award damages such as pain and suffering or loss of company to the victim's family.
Furthermore, homicide by vehicle convictions can have long-term consequences. A felony conviction can make finding employment difficult as well as precluding the victim from practicing in certain professions such as teaching, the medical field, and other areas. The conviction will appear during background checks and can also affect obtaining housing or credit.
Reckless driving or DUI in Georgia are prerequisites to the offense of first-degree vehicular homicide. If you or a loved one has been arrested for one of these offenses, call our offices now.