Smyrna, Ga. - According to reports out of the City of Smyrna, officers are searching for the driver of a stolen Lexus.
Officers have accused a teenage driver of stealing a Lexus SUV from a car dealership off of Cobb Parkway. They witnessed this theft after responding to alarms at the dealership around 4:00 AM Sunday morning. This started a police chase that ended in a serious crash.
A 16-year-old passenger was found dead at the scene. Two other passengers were seriously injured and taken to Kennestone Hospital. Officers stated that the driver was able to escape the wrecked vehicle and escape the scene.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, there are many serious traffic violations that I could cover in today's post. However, in today's post, I will cover the law behind the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude the police in the state of Georgia.
Fleeing the Police in Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-395 defines the offense of fleeing the police in Georgia 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 have been arrested.