One of Georgia's Most Serious Offenses is Hit and Run / Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Hit and Run specifically refers to striking another vehicle that is occupied and then driving away. Leaving the scene of an accident and failing in one's duty to report an accident or striking a fixed object are similar offenses. These are very serious traffic offenses that can have even harsher penalties than a DUI. For example, for someone with no prior record, a DUI driver can often get a limited permit for school and work. In the case of Hit an Run, many times there no limited permit to drive. Additionally, Hit and Run is a crime of specific intent. You have a decide to leave the scene of an accident. As a result, hit and run - leaving the scene of an accident is more serious than DUI in Georgia.
Our Experience is the Difference:
For more than 25 years, Richard Lawson has defended Hit and Run cases throughout Georgia, Atlanta, Metro Atlanta, and North Georgia. He is a former Georgia Prosecutor trained by the same people who are prosecuting the case against you. Put his experience to work for you today. His reviews can be found on AVVO. As the top-rated and most reviewed lawyer in Georgia, he will use his experience to fight for you. Your case will not defend itself. You need to act now to protect your rights.
What Do We do in Georgia Hit and Run Cases?
If convicted of hit and run, a driver will face at least a four-month driver's license suspension. In limited circumstances, you may qualify for a restricted license depending on your driver's record. If you are convicted of Hit and Run with DUI, your will not qualify for any type of license.
Additionally, if you have prior offenses or are convicted of an offense that carries its own suspension, along with the Hit and Run, you may be facing a "hard suspension" of your license. A hard suspension means you will have no license or permit whatsoever. Hit and Run can also have devastating effects on your insurance if convicted.
With all this being said, things are not hopeless. There are many offenses similar to Hit and Run that do not cause a license suspension or some of the other penalties associated with the offense. Many times our office has successfully achieved reductions of the charge to less serious offenses.
Pursuant to plea negations, our lawyers have also had a lot of success in getting the state to drop the hit and run charges altogether. The ability to get the charge of leaving the scene of an accident dropped or reduced is the difference between having your license or having your license suspended.
In some instances, what the officer perceives as hit and run, is actually just failing to report striking a fixed object under GA law. Our lawyers have also successfully defended these cases asserting that the hit and run was justified as the person was defending themselves and trying to get out of harms way. If you are facing a leaving the scene of an accident or hit and run charges, call our law office today to see how we can help you.
The Key is knowing how Georgia's Hit and Run laws can actually work for you
Most cases start out as a violation of the specific Hit and Run Law (O.C.G.A 40-6-270). This is the most serious version of the charge, the one that causes a 6 month license suspension. However, the facts of your case may be more like the other, less serious version of the law. (Duty upon Striking unattended vehicle O.C.G.A 40-6-271 & Duty to Report an Accident O.C.G.A 40-6-273)
The role of your lawyer, many times, is to try to apply the facts of your case to the other versions of the Hit and Run Laws. That is how your attorney will be able to keep you out of jail and save your drivers license. The advocacy of your attorney is the most important thing in your case.
According to Georgia law O.C.G.A. 40-6-270, (the Hit and Run statute):
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;
(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;
(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person; and
(4) Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(b) If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-271 (Duty upon striking unattended vehicle) states as follows:
(a) The driver of any vehicle which collides with any vehicle which is unattended shall immediately stop and shall then and there either locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or shall leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle struck a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle doing the striking.
(b) Any person who fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Finally, O.C.G.A. 40-6-273 is the Duty to report accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage and states in the pertinent part:
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more shall immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department if such accident occurs within a municipality. If such accident occurs outside a municipality, such notice shall be given to the office of the county sheriff or to the nearest office of the state patrol.
Contact Us Today to Protect Your Right to Drive and Your Freedom:
No one knows better than our office the seriousness of Georgia's Hit and Run laws. You are facing penalties more severe than DUI in Georgia. We are here 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to help you. Contact us now for immediate attention.