Being involved in an alcohol or drug-related accident and hurting someone is a traumatic experience. You may be fighting accusations that you caused the death or serious injury of another person while drunk or high on drugs. Homicide by vehicle and serious injury by vehicle are very serious charges which often invoke a lengthy prison sentence upon conviction. To reduce stress and avoid significant punishment, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to defend yourself from a vehicular homicide or serious injury by vehicle charge. In short, the State of Georgia only needs to show that you were driving recklessly or were intoxicated and caused death or serious injury to another person for you to be convicted of the serious crimes such as homicide by vehicle or serious injury by vehicle. The punishments for these convictions include fines, jail time, lengthy probation and extended license suspensions. The skilled DUI attorneys at Banks, Stubbs, and McFarland understand how devastated you feel and will work tirelessly to help you minimize these severe consequences.
Felony Homicide by Vehicle Charges in Georgia
Vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter is known as “homicide by vehicle” in the state of Georgia. The crime occurs when a person dies as a direct result of a car accident caused by a DUI or a reckless driver. Vehicular homicide is broken down into first degree felony and second degree misdemeanor categories. If you are accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be charged with a felony in the first degree. If your accident caused the death of an unborn child by means of death or injury to a pregnant woman, you will also be charged with “feticide” of the unborn child.
Under Georgia law, the punishment for homicide by vehicle while you were driving drunk or recklessly is between 3 and 15 years in prison for each offense. If you are known as a habitual offender, you can face jail time between 5 and 20 years. In addition to the prison sentence, the court will order your driver’s license to be suspended for 3 years with no work permit.
If you face vehicular homicide charges in Georgia, you need the best attorney to represent you. Our lawyers have years of experience in criminal defense and DUI law and know the best strategies to help you win your case. Call 770-887-1209 now to schedule your initial consultation.
Serious Injury by Vehicle Charges in Georgia
Under § 40-6-394 of the Georgia Code, in order to qualify as serious injury by vehicle, the State must prove that your drunk driving accident injured the victim in any of the following ways:
- Bodily harm…depriving him/her of a member of his/her body
- Rendering a member of his/her body useless
- Seriously disfiguring his/her body or a member
- Organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless
Thus, loss of a limb, the inability to use a limb, broken bones, disfigurement and/or brain damage are all qualifying injuries for you to be convicted of serious injury by vehicle. Jail time for this crime is anywhere from 1 to 15 years. As with homicide by vehicle, being a habitual offender, having a high BAC and/or the use of illegal drugs can all increase your sentence, license suspension and fines.
A DUI or reckless driving accident resulting in serious injury requires a serious attorney. Call our office today at 770-887-1209 to maintain your freedom and save your driver’s license.
How to Beat the State’s Claim Against You
Homicide by vehicle and serious injury by vehicle charges require skilled criminal attorneys as arguing your lack of malicious intent as a defense is not enough to prove your innocence. Mens rea refers to the defendant’s mental state when a crime occurs. The judge or jury often consider if you intended to commit a crime when deciding whether or not you will be convicted. You may incorrectly believe that because the death or serious injury was an accident, you lacked mens rea and that you can’t be convicted. If the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving recklessly or were drunk or under the influence of drugs and that your intoxicated state caused the accident, you will be found guilty and will face the severe punishments of felony homicide by vehicle or serious injury by vehicle convictions.
Our law firm often consults with and retains expert witnesses to provide reports and testify at trial. To dispute the legal cause of an accident, for example, we will often hire an accident reconstructionist to demonstrate what may have happened. We also have experts in field sobriety, blood testing and breathalyzer analyses who are employed to uncover the inaccuracies of the chemical testing performed by the State of Georgia.
In order to fight for your rights, you need the expert attorneys at Banks, Stubbs and McFarland to uncover flaws in the state’s case against you. Take the first steps to avoiding jail time and a license suspension by calling 770-887-1209 to schedule an appointment with one of our top DUI lawyers today!
Serious Injury By Vehicle Charge Dismissed in Forsyth County
Client (T.W.) was indicted by the grand jury of Forsyth County for the felony offense of Serious Injury By Vehicle after hitting a pedestrian with his truck, leaving him with multiple leg fractures. Client failed all of the field sobriety tests and his breath test result was a .166.
Attorney Parker McFarland filed a motion for access to the victim’s medical records which was granted by the Superior Court of Forsyth County. The medical records revealed that the victim had a .179 blood alcohol level and benzodiazepines in his system. Attorney Parker McFarland hired an accident reconstructionist who determined that Client had less than two seconds to react to the pedestrian who walked into the path of his truck at night in a dark section of the road, wearing dark clothing. The accident reconstructionist determined that the impact occurred in Client’s lane of travel and that the accident could have been avoided if the pedestrian went to the crosswalk and crossed 400 feet down the road. The expert witness opined that the cause of the accident was the pedestrian’s failure to yield to Client.
Attorney Parker McFarland repeatedly maintained that Client did not cause the serious injuries of the victim. On the eve of the trial date, the District Attorney agreed to dismiss the felony Serious Injury by Vehicle charge and Client obtained a probation sentence for misdemeanors.