According to reports out of Butts County, four people have been reported dead after a serious crash. The Georgia State Patrol is spearheading the investigation on this case.
Reports show that the crash happened around 5:30 pm today. There were three people in a vehicle attempting to flee authorities. That vehicle ended up crashing head-on with a pick-up truck carrying four more people. Two of the passengers in the rear seats of the pick-up truck were announced dead as well as two people in the suspected car.
So far no one has been identified, but the driver of the suspected vehicle is currently in critical condition and is most likely facing some very severe charges.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I deal with and handle a lot of cases involving fleeing or attempting to elude the police in the state of Georgia. The law can be tricky on an offense such as this. The offense of fleeing or attempting to elude can be classified as either a high and aggravated misdemeanor or a felony. Let's take a closer look at the law.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. § 40-6-395. The base offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is as follows:
It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle.
Just a first time offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor in the state of Georgia. This means that if a person is convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude, he or she is facing up to 12 months of jail time as well as fines up to $5,000.
However, there are circumstances that can exacerbate the penalties associated with a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude. These circumstances include when a driver flees and:
(i) Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
(ii) Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
(iii) Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
(iv) Commits a violation of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391; or
(v) Leaves the state.
If a driver flees under any one of the above-mentioned circumstances, then a person is facing a felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude.
Most people believe that traffic offenses are not that serious in the state of Georgia. However, this belief is seriously incorrect. There are many serious traffic violations that can result in arrests, jail times, and even felony records.
Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today if you or a loved one has been arrested.