Hit and run, or leaving the scene of an accident, is an extremely severe offense in the state of Georgia. If you are involved in an automobile accident, whether with another automobile or a fixed object, it is your responsibility to report the accident, give your name and vehicle registration number and render assistance to any injured person (and transportation if needed). Leaving the scene of an accident is a deliberate decision and treated as a crime of specific intent. For this reason, the penalties for hit & run can be much steeper than those for driving under the influence. If these offenses happen concurrently, the compounded charges can be extremely serious.
Former DUI Prosecutor Richard Lawson has unparalleled experience in Georgia traffic law. For 20 years he has defended hit & run cases in Georgia. As the top-rated and most reviewed attorney in Georgia, Richard Lawson will put his legal expertise to work for you in your hit & run case. With your future and many of your rights at state, it is imperative that you secure an adept attorney as soon as possible.
Georgia Hit & Run Law
Unlike DUI cases, in which the offender has the option to obtain a limited driving permit, those convicted of hit and run are not eligible for limited driving permits because of the perceived gravity of the crime. This suspension resultant of a hit and run conviction will last 4 months. In cases of an exceptional driving record or other limited circumstances, your Roswell DUI Lawyer may be able to make arrangements for a restricted license. If you have convictions on your record for similar traffic offenses, the addition of a hit and run conviction may result in a hard suspension of your license, assuring you will not have a license or access to a permit whatsoever. That being said, these charges are not hopeless. A well-organized, aggressive and competent legal defense can make all the difference in the world in your sentencing and the sanctions the court will look to level against you. This is the reason good legal representation is key. It may be possible to reduce your charges. This can be the difference between retaining your license or losing it.
An incident may be construed or charged as a ‘hit & run' when it was not nearly so severe and deliberate. A driver may unknowingly strike a fixed object and continuing driving, later receiving a hit and run charge they may find surprising. A third party like law enforcement may not be able to fully assess the situation that led to an alleged hit and run. A driver may be trying to get to safety or provide emergency transportation when the event occurs, for example. The objectivity of the law does not always provide for the subjectivity of situations, and this is where lawyers come in. They will help to craft you a solid defense after hearing out your side of the story.
Georgia's Hit & Run Statute O.C.G.A 40-6-270
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;
(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;
(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person; and
(4) Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(b) If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Duty Upon Striking Unattended Vehicle (O.C.G.A. 40-6-271)
(a) The driver of any vehicle which collides with any vehicle which is unattended shall immediately stop and shall then and there either locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or shall leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle struck a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle doing the striking.
(b) Any person who fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Violations under Duty upon Striking unattended vehicle O.C.G.A 40-6-271 & Duty to Report an Accident O.C.G.A 40-6-273, are considered less serious than the offense of Hit & Run, which warrants the 4 to 6-month license suspension.
If you or a loved one are facing Hit and Run charges, contact experienced Roswell DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today for your free consultation.