Vehicular Homicide Defense in Georgia
Experienced Marietta criminal defense lawyers for aggressive representation
During the chaotic and emotionally traumatizing aftermath of a fatal automobile accident, the drivers are often frightened and wracked with guilt — regardless of whether they were at fault. While conducting an investigation of the crash scene, Georgia law enforcement may seek statements from disoriented and injured witnesses or may pressure drivers to consent to Breathalyzer® and drug testing. Law abiding citizens who suddenly become involved in a fatal accident are particularly susceptible to inadvertently waiving their rights in their attempt to cooperate with police investigators.
Our diligent criminal defense lawyers at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP have more than 80 years of combined experience representing drivers accused of vehicular homicide, DUI, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving and hits-and-runs. We provide effective advocacy during the investigative stage, as well as after arrest. You can avoid forfeiting your fundamental civil rights by consulting with us as soon as possible. We pursue the best possible outcome in your case, which may include negotiating for reduced charges and sentences or fighting for an acquittal at trial. If the prosecution claims that your accident is the consequence of drunk driving, we aggressively fight your DUI charge. Likewise, our criminal attorneys counter the district attorneys’ arguments attempting to tie a fatal accident to distracted or careless driving.
Statutes governing vehicular homicide in Georgia
First degree homicide by vehicle is a felony punishable by three to 15 years of incarceration, or up to 20 years for individuals considered to be habitual violators. To convict for vehicular homicide in Georgia, prosecutors do not have to prove intent, malice aforethought or premeditation. In fact, usually drivers do not intend to cause an accident or injure another person. A driver may be charged with felony homicide by vehicle if the driver was:
- Unlawfully pulling up to or passing a school bus
- Fleeing the accident scene
- Fleeing from a law enforcement officer
- Driving recklessly
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
- Driving while under the influence of drugs
- Texting or otherwise engaging in careless or distracted driving
- Previously declared by the court to be a habitual violator
A driver who violates a motor vehicle law and causes a fatal accident may be charged with second degree homicide by vehicle if the circumstances do not fall into a felony classification. Misdemeanors can result in sentences of up to one year in prison.