Former Paulding County Deputy Indicted in Fatal May 2018 Wreck

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Reports out of Paulding County show that a grand jury has indicted an ex-deputy after accusing him of being responsible for the May 2018 wreck that resulted in the death of elementary school teacher, Emily Howell.

Ex-deputy, Joshua Powell allegedly was traveling southbound on Dallas Acworth Highway when he crossed the center line and struck Howell in her vehicle. Howell died at the scene.

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the offenses that Powell was indicted on this past week. Both charges are misdemeanor charges and could result in some jail time.

Failure to Maintain Lane in Georgia

The first charge that Powell was indicted on is failure to maintain lane in Georgia. Failure to maintain lane is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §40-6-48 as:

When a road has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

Failure to maintain lane is considered a misdemeanor which means that the penalty can include up to twelve months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

2nd Degree Vehicular Homicide in Georgia

The other charge that Powell was indicted on is second degree vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide in Georgia is divided into two degrees. First degree vehicular homicide is when a death occurs when a death is the result of DUI in Georgia or reckless driving in Georgia. First degree vehicular homicide is considered a felony and can result in up to 15 years in prison.

On the other hand, a second degree vehicular homicide charge occurs when death results due to a violation of any other statute other than the ones specified for homicide in the first degree. 

Generally, misdemeanor-grade vehicular homicide happens when a death is the result of a violation of basic traffic laws. Conviction of a misdemeanor vehicular homicide charge may warrant a sentence from a Georgia judge up to one year. If someone is unfortunately killed as a result of regular traffic offenses, they can be charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide.

Practice Note

Powell is facing some serious charges - however, the charges could be more severe if DUI was suspected. According to reports, Powell had been employed as a Cherokee County deputy for two weeks at the time of the crash. Powell resigned from his job after the accident.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI or any other serious vehicular or alcohol-related charge, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today. We can help you with your case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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