Possible Serious Injury by Vehicle and DUI charges are pending against 28-year-old, David Ryan Tolbert, the result of a head-on collision Thursday in Banks County.
The Georgia State Patrol says that physical evidence shows that the vehicle driven by Mr. Tolbert crossed the centerline, hitting another vehicle head-on.
Two people were injured in the vehicle hit by Mr. Tolbert. The extent of the injuries will determine if Mr. Tobert is charged with a felony DUI or a misdemeanor DUI.
In Georgia, Serious Injury By Vehicle is a felony that can result in up to a 15-year prison sentence. To be considered “serious,” the injury must deprive a person (at least temporarily) of a member of his body or cause a disfiguration to the body of another.
Disfiguration can include even a small scar. Deprivation of a member of a person's body can be as insignificant as a broken finger. As a result, almost any injury can be considered serious and thereby upgrade a misdemeanor DUI to a felony DUI. That is why I am assuming the possibility of felony charges in this case. It seems likely that there were injuries associated with a head-on collision at highway speeds.
The most important thing Mr. Tolbert must do, after he hires a Banks County DUI Lawyer, is hire an accident reconstructionist. He will need an expert to determine if he was actually at fault in the accident. Many police officers assume that the impaired driver is also the at fault driver. Many times that is not the case.
In a Serious Injury by Vehicle case, as well as in a Vehicular Homicide, the main issue is the determination of the cause of the accident (who was at fault). The statute is very clear, because it specifically states that a person is guilty if, through a violation of certain traffic laws, they “cause” others to be injured or killed. As a result, causation is the principal defense in most felony DUI cases.
If you or a loved one is charged with a DUI in North Georgia call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are here to help. Richard Lawson and his team exclusively handle DUI cases and put their experience to work for you every day.