Jackson, Ga. - According to authorities with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the body of a man was discovered who allegedly led a police chase through two different counties in Georgia.
What began as a traffic stop in Newton County led to a chase through Butts County. Police reported that the chase ended on Hickory Point Drive. Then, the driver got out of his vehicle and ran into Jackson Lake. Officers involved in the chase attempted to stop him and attempted to catch up to him but they were unable to do so.
This happened on Thursday evening. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the driver's body was discovered in the lake Friday afternoon. An autopsy will reveal more information as to cause of death.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude police. It is a related offense to DUI in Georgia, however, the offense can have devastating results the majority of the time. So devastating in fact, that many municipalities and jurisdictions have outlawed police from chasing after fleeing suspects at all.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
Georgia Law defines fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia in O.C.G.A. § 40-6-395 as:
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.
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.
Call our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested in the state of Georgia. We can help you now.