Leaving the scene of an accident is one of the most serious traffic offenses in Georgia that can have even harsher penalties than DUI Penalties in Georgia. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I've handled a lot of hit and run cases because it is a related offense to DUI in Georgia. Making the conscious decision to leave the scene of an accident is what makes this crime so serious.
Our offices have handled plenty of these cases, and the good news is that there are many offenses similar to hit and run in Georgia that are considered reductions. We have successfully achieved reductions to lesser offenses and can help you if you or a loved one has been charged with this offense.
In today's post, I would like to outline the law behind leaving the scene of an accident in Georgia.
Hit and Run - Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Georgia
The Georgia Code states that there are two requirements for the offense of leaving the scene of an accident in Georgia. First, the driver must be involved in a car accident. Second, the driver must leave the scene of the accident before fulfilling his or her obligations as prescribed by law.
The Georgia Code outlines the legal obligations of all drivers should they be involved in an accident. The legal obligations are include:
- Exchange personal information with other involved parties (name, address, vehicle registration information)
- Display a valid driver's license upon request
- Provide reasonable assistance to anyone who was injured in the accident and/or transport him or her to the closest medical facility for treatment, if necessary, and
- Contact emergency medical services and police. O.C.G.A. §40-6-270.
The law goes on to state that all drivers involved in an accident are legally required to remain at the scene until all of the above mentioned responsibilities have been fulfilled. These obligations exist whether or not you were the primary cause of the accident.
A hit and run accident in Georgia involving personal injury or property damage to an occupied vehicle is considered a felony offense. Penalties for a felony hit and run conviction can include 1 to 5 years in prison, criminal fines, probation, and suspension of the driver's license.
If the hit and run accident does not involve personal injury or occupied vehicles, then there is a possibility that it could be classified as a misdemeanor.
However, it is important to note that any penalties can be aggravated if police determine that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are convicted of hit and run and DUI, then you will not qualify for any type of permit or restricted license.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, a hit and run accident or both, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today. Your defense starts now - we may be able to save your license.
Most cases start out as a violation of the law that is cited above regarding your obligations when you get in an accident (O.C.G.A. §40-6-270). If your case involves a violation of this law, then you are facing the most serious version of the charge with the harshest penalties.
Most attorneys are unaware that there are other less serious versions of the law. The good news, as I mentioned above, is that the facts of your case may be more like these other versions of the law. (Duty upon Striking unattended vehicle O.C.G.A. §40-6-271 and Duty to Report an Accident O.C.G.A. §40-6-273). Here at Lawson and Berry, we are not only familiar with these types of negotiations, but we are well-practiced with them. Your defense starts today - contact us now.