Sometimes a driver can be charged with other offenses in addition to driving under the influence. What charges a driver ends up facing will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. Two possible offenses that a DUI driver may also be charged with are hit and run and running from the police. These are discussed in further detail below.
Hit And Run in Hall County
Under Georgia law, it is a crime to flee the scene of an accident. If there was damage or an injury, the driver has an obligation to stay and take responsibility for his or her actions. If you are intoxicated you may be tempted to flee because you don't want to be charged with a DUI, but leaving will only result in greater penalties.
The law states that "[t]he 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." O.C.G.A 40-6-270(a). Drivers are required to give their contact information as well as render assistance to anyone who was injured by making sure they are taken to get medical treatment.
Leaving the scene of an accident can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the injuries involved.
- It is a misdemeanor offense if "such accident is the proximate cause of an injury other than a serious injury or if such accident resulted in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person." O.G.C.A. 40-6-270(c)(1). A conviction for a first offense can a result in a fine between $300 and $1,000, up to 12 months in prison, or both.
- It is also a misdemeanor offense to hit a parked car and fail to leave any contact information. O.G.C.A. 40-6-271.
- A felony hit and run occurs when there is a death or a serious injury. A person convicted of this offense can face a prison sentence between one and five years. O.G.C.A. 40-6-270(b).
In addition to the criminal penalties above, a DUI driver who is involved in a hit and run can have his or her license suspended. And while for many offenses a driver can get a restricted license after after a period of time prior to the suspension period expiring, a driver who is convicted of a Hit and Run with DUI will not be able to get any kind of temporary driving permit. Contact your Hall County DUI Lawyer for more information.
In Georgia, a driver who was involved in an accident with a fixture (like a pole), is obligated to "take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of such property of such fact and of his name and address and of the registration number of the vehicle he is driving and shall, upon request and if available, exhibit his operator's license." O.G.C.A. 40-6-272. In addition, a driver in an accident is required to report the accident to law enforcement if there was "injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more." O.G.C.A. 40-6-273.
Fleeing The Police in Hall County
Most everyone has seen a police chase on the news at some point in their lives. Though fleeing the police is never a good idea, some people choose to do so in order to avoid being arrested for a crime, such as DUI, or do so by mistake because they did not see or hear the police car behind them.
The law in Georgia states, "[i]t shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren." O.C.G.A. 40-6-395(a).
It is important to note that an individual is only required to stop for an actual law enforcement officer. The law states that the police officer attempting to stop a driver "shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle." O.C.G.A. 40-6-395(a).
Fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement is a serious offense and can lead to significant penalties, including:
- A first offense is a high and aggravated misdemeanor. The penalty for a conviction can include a fine of between $500 and $5,000, as well as a prison sentence ranging from 10 days all the way up to 12 months.
- A driver can face a felony charge if he or she does any of the following while fleeing police:
- drives over "20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit"
- hits a pedestrian or another vehicle
- "[f]lees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries"
- drives his or her vehicle out of the state
- has a BAC of .08 or higher
A conviction can result in the driver being fined $5,000 and spending between one and five years in prison. O.G.C.A. 40-6-395(b)(5)(A). In addition, a person convicted of this offense can have his or her license suspended.
Contact A Hall County DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, hit and run, or fleeing police, contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson today. These are serious charges and you want an experienced and knowledgeable Hall County DUI Attorney on your side. Please give is us a call at (404) 816-4440 or contact us online.