A high speed chase last week ended with the arrest of two Georgians just outside the city of Atlanta on Ga. 16 in Carroll County. The driver was Isaac Otwell, and the passenger was Jessica Emmett. The chase ended with Otwell driving the vehicle through a convenience store parking lot and wrecking the car in a ditch. According to deputies, both attempted to run after crawling from the crashed car, but they were captured. Carroll County officers found two bags of methamphetamine, one bag of heroin, and an unmarked bottle of Xanax in the car.
Based on the report, Otwell and Emmett face a handful of drug charges as well as charges of reckless driving, fleeing, and obstruction.
Let's take a look at what those last three charges mean in Georgia.
Georgia law considers reckless driving as when “any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property” (O.C.G.A. §40-6-390). According to the second part of the statute, if convicted of reckless driving, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor and receive a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time up to 12 months. Conviction of reckless driving also includes 4 points on one's driving history. If under the age of 21 and convicted, the person will lose his or her license.
Reckless driving includes but is not limited to: driving at high speeds, weaving, tailgating, illegal passing, passing on a curve, or performing stunts.
Georgia law considers fleeing or attempting to elude as when “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” (§40-6-395). Fleeing or attempting to elude is considered a high and aggravated misdemeanor. The penalty includes a fine of $500 to $5,000 and jail time of up to 12 months.
There are two different types of obstruction of a law enforcement officer offenses in Georgia: a misdemeanor obstruction and a felony obstruction. Georgia law considers misdemeanor obstruction as when “a person knowingly or willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties” (O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(a)). Georgia law considers felony obstruction as when “a person knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, or conservation officer in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties by offering or doing violence to the person” (O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b)). This means that the only difference between a misdemeanor obstruction offense and a felony obstruction offense is offering or committing violence towards the officer. If convicted of the lesser obstruction charge, a person faces up to 12 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both. If convicted of the felony, a person faces up to five years in prison, a minimum fine of $1,000, community service, or anger management classes.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug offense in Georgia or any of the above-mentioned related offenses, you need a Georgia DUI Lawyer who is familiar with drug laws and traffic laws in Georgia. A Georgia DUI charge or a Georgia DUI Drugs charge is usually accompanied by other charges, which means that you need a competent Georgia DUI Attorney who can defend your entire case including ALL charges. Call us today.