The accident resulted in the serious injury of 9-year-old LaDerinhanna Holmes. A grand jury indicted that driver this past week on the following charges:
- Serious injury by vehicle in Georgia
- Hit and run in Georgia
- Reckless driving in Georgia
- Failure to maintain lane in Georgia
The young girl suffered from a fractured skull and many other serious injuries. She was playing outside with a friend when the vehicle plowed through the front yard.
In today's post I will outline what constitutes the criminal offense of serious injury by vehicle.
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia
According to O.C.G.A. §40-6-394, 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.
The law itself does not define what constitutes a serious injury. Other Georgia laws define it as a “fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, or loss of consciousness.” To be considered serious, the injury does not need to be permanent. Instead, a serious, temporary injury is sufficient and only needs to impair or injure a person's appearance.
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 qualified as “serious.” Whether an injury is serious is a question of fact to be determined by the jury.
Serious injury by vehicle is classified as a felony offense. The penalty if convicted of serious injury by vehicle can include up to 15 years in prison.
If there is a defense to the underlying reckless driving charge or DUI in Georgia, there is a defense to the serious injury by vehicle charge. DUI cases in Georgia can be defended. Depending on the case, any number of Georgia DUI Defenses may apply.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today. A Georgia DUI Lawyer can help you now with your case.