Georgia law defines hit-and-run as leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving property damage or personal injuries without first identifying yourself to the other driver or to the police.
When you get into a car accident, you are supposed to exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver and then flag down a police officer and have them file a police report. A lot of people think it is excessive to get the police involved if there were no injuries and the cars are still drivable, but they still exchange contact information with the other driver out of a sense of etiquette and decency. If someone does not give you their insurance information, it might make them seem shady, but if they do not even give you their real name, they are committing the crime of hit-and-run, even if they stayed and talked to you after the accident. If you are facing criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.
The Duties of a Driver Involved in a Car Accident
If you hit another car while you are driving, Georgia Code 40.6.270 requires you to do the following:
- Stop at the scene of the accident
- Inform the other driver of your name, address, and the registration number of your vehicle
- Ensure that any injured people receive medical assistance, such as by calling 911 and having an ambulance sent to the scene of the accident
If you do not do this, you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit and run. A hit and run conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail, instead of or in addition to a fine. The fines start at $300 for a first conviction and increase for subsequent convictions. You can also get your driver’s license suspended. The penalties are even more serious if the accident involved fatalities or severe injuries.
If you strike an unoccupied, parked vehicle, you must leave a note with your contact information in a conspicuous place on the vehicle. If you do not do this, you can be charged with striking an unattended vehicle, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Defenses to Hit and Run Charges
If you get charged with striking an unattended vehicle, a possible defense is that you actually struck a fixed object, instead of a vehicle. If you are accused of hit and run, a possible defense is that the driver of the struck vehicle is not telling the truth; maybe you did stop and give them your information, or maybe it was another car that hit them.
Contact Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers About Hit and Run Charges
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you have been accused of leaving the scene of a car accident without properly identifying yourself to the other driver or to police. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about your case.