Criminal Law Regarding Vehicular Homicide
Under Georgia statute, vehicular homicide, also known as homicide by a vehicle, is defined by the unlawful killing of a person using a motor vehicle. It is often accompanied by another charge, such as driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, or operation under the influence.
Felony Vehicular Homicide
In the state of Georgia, it is considered a felony if a person causes death to an individual as the result of certain traffic violations. This offense is called Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree.
Offenses such as unlawful passing of a school bus, DUI, reckless driving, and eluding and fleeing a police officer, resulting in death are considered felony vehicular homicide. If the person is found guilty, they can be sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison. If a person causes an accident where someone died and then leaves the scene of the accident, that person would be guilty of vehicular homicide, and can also be serve 3 to 15 years in prison.
In order for a person to be found guilty of vehicular homicide, the judge or jury must first find that the individual violated one of the above traffic violations. They must then find that the unlawful act was without a doubt the cause of death.
License Suspension After Felony Vehicular Manslaughter
If a person is convicted of felony vehicular homicide, their license would be suspended for 3 years and they would not be able to get a work permit.
Misdemeanor Vehicular Homicide
In the state of Georgia, if a person causes the death of another person as a result of a traffic violation that does not fall into the felony statute would be charged with vehicular homicide in the 2nd degree. An example of this charge would be if a person runs a red light and strikes another vehicle because of it, causing death. This is considered a misdemeanor, and the individual can be sentenced to 12 months in prison.
In order for a person to be found guilty of this charge, the judge and jury must first find that the person committed the traffic offense that they are being charged with. They must also find that the unlawful act is what caused the individual’s death.
License Suspension After Misdemeanor Vehicular Homicide
If a person is convicted of misdemeanor vehicular homicide, their license would be suspended for 120 days, however, they would be eligible for a work permit.
In Georgia, if a person causes and accident and an unborn child is killed, depending what stage of development the fetus was in, the person can be charged with Feticide by Vehicle. If the circumstances surrounding the accident are the same as felony vehicular manslaughter, the punishment would be the same. If the circumstances were the same as misdemeanor vehicular homicide, the punishment would be the same.
Serious Injury by Vehicle
Under Georgia criminal law, if a person causes serious injury to another person as a result of DUI or reckless driving, they could be charged with serious injury by vehicle. Serious injury would be an injury which resulted in rendering a part of the body useless, disfigurement, loss of limb, or organic brain damage.
For example, if a broken bone or stitches caused scarring, it would be considered a serious injury. If a person lost their ability to walk as a result of the accident, it would be considered a serious injury. This charge can result in one to 15 years in prison.
In order to be found guilty of this charge, a judge or jury must find that the person was driving recklessly or DUI. They must then find that the unlawful act was the cause of the individual’s injury.
If a person is convicted of serious injury by vehicle, they can lose their driver’s license for 3 years with no possibility of getting a work permit.
If you were involved in any type of vehicular homicide, calling attorney Richard Blevins will ensure the best possible outcome for this bad situation. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.