Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Georgia law requires that all drivers stop and remain at the scene when they have been in an accident. Individuals who fail to do this face serious consequences.
A person may fail to stop at the scene of an accident for many reasons. In many cases, a driver simply did not know that he or she hit someone or something, such as another vehicle. Unfortunately, this will not matter to law enforcement. When the police find you, they will likely arrest you and you will suddenly face charges you never imagined facing before. When that is the case, you need an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer to build a solid defense for your case.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Georgia
Any time a driver is involved in an accident that results in injury, fatalities, or death, the driver is required to stop the vehicle and remain at the scene of the crash. When the driver fails to do so, he or she can face many serious consequences.
If convicted of a misdemeanor, you will face up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. You also risk a suspension of your driver’s license and having your vehicle impounded. In the case that someone was seriously injured or killed in the accident and the driver fled the scene, the driver will face felony charges. If convicted, all the same penalties may apply, although the jail sentence could increase to five years in prison.
Unfortunately, law enforcement also often assumes that if someone flees the scene of an accident, they must have been drunk at the time. This is not true. Most of the time, a person leaves the scene because he or she either did not know a person or object was hit, or because the driver is simply afraid. Still, law enforcement may try to lay additional charges of a DUI when a person leaves the scene, which increases the penalties and charges a person will face.
Defenses to Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Being charged with leaving the scene of an accident is frightening and may seem hopeless. It is not. There are many defenses available to these charges, including:
- You were not driving the vehicle that fled the scene
- You did not have knowledge of injury
- You did not have knowledge of property damage
- You went for help
Using the defense of leaving the scene of an accident to get help is a difficult one to argue. However, it is sometimes useful. For example, if you were in an accident on a remote road, did not have a phone, and another person was so injured you knew their injuries would soon become fatal, you might leave to get help. If you can provide solid evidence to prove this, it can be used as a defense.
Facing Charges? Call Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident or any other crime, it is important that you speak to our Atlanta criminal defense lawyers today. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, we know that not everyone charged is guilty of a crime and we will put our extensive experience in criminal law to work for you. Call us today at (404) 561-0202 so we can get started on your defense.