Homicide by Vessel in Georgia
Boating activities are a very popular pastime all throughout Georgia. If your boating activities resulted in you or a loved one being charged with homicide by vessel, it is imperative that you contact our Georgia Homicide by Vessel Attorneys immediately. The penalties are severe and we understand that you may need help discovering what your options are. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson have over 25 years of defense experience. Furthermore, our founder, Richard Lawson, served as a former North Georgia prosecutor before opening his own firm. This gives us the upper hand because he knows how the State thinks and how to successfully defend against their arguments. When your future is on the line, trust our lawyers! We have represented thousands of clients and achieved amazing results. Call us today.
Homicide by Vessel in the First Degree
O.C.G.A. §57-7-12.2(a)&(b) outlines the offense of homicide by vessel in the first degree:
(a) A person commits the crime of homicide by vessel in the first degree when without malice aforethought they cause the death of another person by violating one of the following statutes:
- No person shall operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state at a speed greater than idle speed within 100 feet of any moored or anchored vessel, or vessel adrift, or any wharf, dock, pier, piling, bridge structure or abutment, person in the water, or shoreline adjacent to a full-time or part-time residence, public park, public swimming area, marina, restaurant, or other public use area. O.C.G.A. §52-7-8.2(j)
- No person shall operate, navigate, steer, or drive any moving vessel, or be in actual physical control of any moving vessel, nor shall any person manipulate any moving water skis, moving aquaplane, moving surfboard, or similar moving device while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, toxic vapors, or the combined influence of two or more of the substances mentioned to the extent that it is less safe for the person to operate, navigate, steer, driver, manipulate, or be in actual physical control of a moving vessel, moving water skis, moving aquaplane, moving surfboard, or similar moving device. O.C.G.A. §52-7-12.
- Except for lifesaving, emergency, law enforcement, or dam operation and maintenance craft, it shall be unlawful to launch, float, or operate:
- Any power boat within the boundaries of the boating safety zones defined in subsection (a) of this Code section; or
- Any vessel within the boundaries of those boating safety zones defined in subparagraphs (a)(2)(A) and (a)(2)(B) of this Code section, provided such zones are marked in accordance with the uniform waterway marking system. O.C.G.A. §52-7-13(b)
- Every vessel subject to this article if underway and upon being hailed by a designated law enforcement officer shall stop immediately and lay to or shall maneuver in such a way as to permit the officer to come aboard. O.C.G.A. §52-7-25(c)
(b) Any operator of a vessel who, without malice aforethought, causes a collision or accident which causes the death of another person and leaves the scene of the collision of accident in violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 57-2-14 commits the offense of homicide by vessel in the first degree, and upon conviction, thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 15 years.
Similar to serious injury by vessel, Georgia law requires that a suspect must be guilty of one of the above-mentioned offenses before they can be guilty of homicide by vessel. Therefore, you cannot be found guilty of felony homicide by vessel if you are not charged or found guilty of one of the predicate offenses. That is where our homicide by vessel attorneys in Georgia come in. We are skilled at defending against the originating defense, thus, allowing the homicide by vessel charge to be dropped.
Penalty for Homicide by Vessel in the First Degree Conviction in Georgia
The penalty for a homicide by vessel conviction in the first degree will be treated as a felony, and you will be subject to a fine, prison term between three and fifteen years, or both. In addition, a felony conviction could affect you obtaining credit, jobs, houses, and could cause you to lose your license. Due to the severity of the penalties, it is in your best interest to speak with our lawyers today. We will ensure that your rights are protected at every stage of the process and will fight to protect your future!
Homicide by Vessel in the Second Degree
O.C.G.A. §57-7-12.2(c) outlines the offense of homicide by vessel in the second degree as follows:
(c) Any person who causes the death of another person, without an intention to do so, by violating any provision of this title other than [the ones mentioned in (a) or (b)] commits the offense of homicide by vessel in the second degree when such violation is the cause of said death.
Penalty for Second Degree Homicide by Vessel
The penalty for being convicted of homicide by vessel in the second degree will be deemed a misdemeanor. In Georgia, misdemeanors are punished by a fine up to $1,000, a jail term up to 12 months, or both. In addition, if a six-month sentence or less is imposed, the sentencing judge has the authority and discretion to allow the sentence to be served on weekends or during the nonworking hours of the defendant. O.C.G.A. §17-10-3
Our Homicide By Vessel Attorneys in Georgia are Here to Help
There are multiple arguments your Georgia Homicide by Vessel Lawyer can make to protect you. You may think there is nothing that can be done but that couldn't be further from the truth. Some examples of arguments your Attorney could use:
- Whether or not you were in the boundaries of the boating safety zone
- What speed you were going
- Were you guilty of one of the predicate offenses
This is not an exhaustive list of the defenses that could apply to your case, so contact our homicide by vessel attorneys in Georgia today to receive a free case evaluation!
Contact Us Today
No one knows better than our office the seriousness of Georgia's Homicide by Vessel statutes. You are facing severe penalties, and we are prepared to help you fight your case. Our Georgia Homicide by Vessel Lawyers are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year even nights, weekends,