A woman is facing numerous charges after allegedly hitting and killing 29-year-old Sandy Springs Native, Marten Bijvankn. The accident occurred on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs in the early morning hours of July 17.
According to reports from the Sandy Spring police department, Bijvank was riding his bike southbound on Roswell Road when a Chrysler sedan struck him down. The driver, 34-year-old Antoinette Battle, stopped about 100 yards up the road and was taken into custody. She is facing charges of reckless driving, first-degree vehicular homicide, and DUI.
In today's post, I will be discussing vehicular homicide.
Vehicular Homicide in Georgia
As a Roswell and Alpharetta DUI Attorney, I've defended many cases involving vehicular homicide. In Georgia, charges of vehicular homicide are brought when someone is killed in a car accident. The death could be the result of the driver's negligence, reckless actions, or failure to obey standard traffic laws. There are two types of vehicular homicide in Georgia: first degree and second degree.
OCGA § 40-6-393(a) and (b) states that a person commits homicide by vehicle in the first degree when:
Without malice aforethought, a person causes the death of another by
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OCGA § 40-6-391);
- Overtaking and passing a school bus (OCGA § 40-6-163);
- Reckless driving (OCGA § 40-6-390);
- Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer (OCGA § 40-6-395), or
- Hit and run. (OCGA § 40-6-270).
First-degree vehicular homicide is considered a felony. If convicted, a driver can expect to spend anywhere from 3 to 15 years in prison. For most first-degree vehicular homicide convictions, the driver's license will be revoked for three years.
Second-degree vehicular homicide in Georgia consists of unintentionally causing the death of another through the commission of general traffic offenses, such as speeding or failing to maintain a lane. Lyons v. State, 248 Ga. App. 59 (2001).
Some common traffic offenses that could lead to vehicular homicide in the second-degree are:
- Running a red light
- Failing to yield at a right of way
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Failure to maintain lane
Second-Degree vehicular homicide is considered in misdemeanor and generally carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and a sentence of up to one year in prison.
As a Roswell and Alpharetta DUI Lawyer, I know that getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated dramatically increases the chance that you will seriously injure yourself or someone else. A conviction of vehicular homicide is very serious and can have lifelong consequences. The way to defend these cases is to have a qualified attorney on your side. If you or a loved one are facing vehicular homicide or DUI charges in Roswell or Alpharetta, call our office today.