According to reports out of Muscogee County, a 22-year-old man pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in Georgia this past week.
William Cross was accused and convicted of causing a crash that killed baseball coach, David Pollard. The incident occurred in 2016. The facts state that Cross ran a red light which resulted in the accident. He then proceeded to leave the scene of the accident.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the offense of first-degree vehicular homicide as that is what Cross was convicted of committing.
First Degree Vehicular Homicide in Georgia
Vehicular homicide in Georgia is separated into two different degrees under Georgia Law. First degree vehicular homicide is defined in O.C.G.A. § 40-6-393 as:
A person will be charged with homicide by vehicle in the first degree when, without malice aforethought, a death is caused by the person either unlawfully passing a school bus, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude a police office, or leaving the scene of the accident.
First degree vehicular homicide is classified as a felony offense. Felonies carry much harsher punishments than misdemeanors or high and aggravated misdemeanors in Georgia.
A first degree vehicular homicide conviction can result in up to fifteen years in prison.
If a person is charged with homicide by vehicle in the first degree and they are a Georgia Habitual Violator and their license has been suspended or revoked, then the punishment will be elevated to a prison term between five and twenty years.
In addition to penalties decided by a judge, the offender could also face a civil suit brought on by the victim's family. In a civil suit, the judge could award damages such as pain and suffering or loss of company to the victim's family.
Furthermore, homicide by vehicle convictions can have long-term consequences. A felony conviction can make finding employment difficult as well as precluding the victim from practicing in certain professions such as teaching, the medical field, and other areas.
Cross was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for the first degree vehicular homicide as well as other sentences for other charges related to the case. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a serious traffic crime, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney now.
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