Tag Archives: reckless driving

Vehicular Homicide Continued: Misdemeanor, Feticide, & Serious Injury Crashes

Last month, I filled you in on the ins and outs of felony vehicular homicide. To recap, determining felony vehicular homicide depends largely on the traffic violations committed, including reckless driving, DUI, fleeing/eluding, and leaving the scene of the accident. Generally, if found guilty of felony vehicular homicide in Georgia, you can expect a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison, though habitual violators can face up to 20 years.

As a seasoned traffic and DUI lawyer in Georgia, I have experience in defending cases involving other facets of vehicular homicide outside of felony, including misdemeanor, feticide, and serious injury crashes. All of these classifications have varying implications, but all involve a driver’s actions as the proximate cause of death or cause of serious injury. Vehicular homicide in the 2nd Degree is known as a misdemeanor. In Georgia, any person who causes the death of another person as a result of traffic violations other than the felony predicate offenses commits this offense.

For example, if you were to run a red light, crash into another car, and cause the death of another person, it would be classified as vehicular homicide in the 2nd Degree.  To be found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular homicide, the judge or jury is required to find that the person committed a traffic offense other than the felony vehicular homicide predicate offenses. Subsequently, it must be found that the person’s unlawful acts were the proximate cause of death. For this offense, you can be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months.

Another aspect of vehicular homicide is feticide by vehicle. The elements and punishment for felony feticide by vehicle are the same as felony vehicular homicide, with the same rule applying to misdemeanor vehicular homicide. Feticide by vehicle is defined as causing the death of an unborn child, at any stage of development that is carried in the womb, within a car crash.

Lastly, any person who brings about serious injury to another person as a result of reckless driving or DUI commits the offense of serious injury by vehicle. “Serious injury” is defined as “depriving a person of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage, which renders the body or any member thereof useless.” In order to be found guilty of serious injury by vehicle, the judge or jury must find that the person committed either reckless driving or DUI. Subsequently, they must find that the person’s unlawful acts were the proximate cause of serious injury. This offense is a felony that comes with a sentence from one to 15 years in prison. If convicted of serious injury by vehicle, the person will face 3 years of driver’s license suspension, no work permit available.

Navigating the various facets of vehicular homicide and serious injury crashes can be daunting and often times confusing. If you find yourself in any of the situations described, I urge you to contact a professional to aid in your case. To contact a reputable lawyer in Georgia, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for traffic law updates and news.

What You Need to Know About Felony Vehicular Homicide in Georgia

More than any other traffic-related offense, vehicular homicide is an extremely upsetting experience sure to lead to times of confusion and despair.  Often a component of additional charges such as DUI or DWI, vehicular homicide is defined as when “a person, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person through violation of certain offenses,” such as DUI.  As a seasoned traffic and DUI lawyer in Georgia, I’ve sadly seen quite a few of these cases over the years and can help clarify some of the essential points that distinguish one case from another. Vehicular homicide is usually charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In this blog, we’ll cover the basics for felony vehicular homicide.

case of the month

Vehicular homicide in the First Degree is a felony in Georgia depending on the traffic violations committed. Offenses include reckless driving, DUI, fleeing/eluding, and leaving the scene of accident.  The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed one of the aforementioned traffic offenses as well as find that your driving was the proximate cause of the death.  If you are found guilty of felony vehicular homicide, you can be sentenced from 3 to 15 years in prison as a consequence.  If you’re a habitual violator, you could face up to 20 years of jail time.

You can also expect a 3 year license suspension with no work permit available if you’re convicted of felony vehicular homicide, although more than likely you are going to be serving time in prison for the first 3 years anyway. 

There are various other facets in vehicular homicide, including misdemeanor, feticide, and serious injury crashes that will be covered in my next blog. To contact a reputable lawyer in Georgia, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for traffic law updates and news.

Can Your DUI Be Reduced to Reckless Driving? February’s Case of the Month

Don’t settle for DUI. In some cases, such as this month’s featured DUI case, a DUI can be reduced to reckless driving. My client was stopped in the city of Duluth, Georgia. She was coming home from work late at night, and the officer stopped her for speeding. In the video of the case, the officer said my client smelled like alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot, and her speech was slurred; he administered the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus HGN and found the maximum number of clues. After her arrest, my client refused to take any State breath test.

zero tolerance georgia

Although her prior DUIs were several years ago, this arrest marked my client’s third lifetime DUI. The video revealed my client’s speech and walk were normal. She was argumentative with the officer, but I argued that was because she felt she was being wrongfully arrested. The officer’s evaluation of the HGN was absolutely inconsistent with her physical appearance, and I argued that therefore the HGN should be totally discounted.

Because of those arguments, as well as my long standing professional relationship with the Duluth Court, the charges were reduced to a lesser offense; my client was able to keep her license and walk out of Duluth Court, with no probation.

The fact is that in today’s DUI World, a lawyer’s experience, reputation, and relationships are important. When someone is looking to hire a DUI lawyer, the questions must be asked: How much experience do you have in DUI defense? Do you have good reputation in the legal community? What is your relationship with the police, prosecutors, and court?
If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.  

A DUI Lasts Forever (Almost)

Valentine’s Day reminds me of roses, candy, and diamonds. There used to be a commercial that said, “Diamonds are forever.”

DUI in GAWell, just like a diamond, a DUI arrest and conviction can last forever in Georgia. There are two types of “records.” One is your driving record with Drivers Services. A DUI conviction (or guilty plea) stays on the driving history forever. While the ramifications for future license suspension, insurance problems and employment may not last past 10 years, these are still potential problems you must deal with should you decide to plead guilty or be found guilty of a DUI.

A DUI arrest is another matter. Under current Georgia law, which changed in July 2013, an arrest record (which is accessible to the public) can only be restricted under very specific conditions. Mainly, you MUST have all of the charges dismissed, either by agreement with the prosecutor or through a not guilty verdict.  If the DUI is amended, say to reckless driving, then the public still has access to the arrest (although the record should show that the DUI was amended to a lesser charge). If the DUI is dismissed, but you are found guilty on other charges such as speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc. then, again the arrest will still show on your public record.

Therefore, you must always take into account your driving and criminal records when trying to decide how to handle your DUI.  I have spent years and have hundreds of case experiences in attempting to resolve DUI cases with records restriction as one of our goals. If you are concerned about your driving record or criminal background checks, you MUST hire a DUI lawyer with some expertise in that area.

If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.  

Teen Driving Under Your Influence

Recent studies show that young drivers make up the highest percentage of drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes:  the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 187,000 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were injured in motor vehicle crashes and an additional 1,963 drivers were killed. Though, the most troubling fact is that most teenage car crashes are 100 percent preventable.

Because of driving inexperience and unsafe driving habits, teenage drivers are more prone to engage in reckless or distracted driving. Statistics show they are more likely to speed, neglect seatbelts, text, and even drink while driving. They are also unable to recognize dangerous situations or poor road conditions where these habits can contribute to serious injuries – or even death.

As a parent, it’s imperative to discuss safe driving behavior and stress these types of consequences. Here are a few topics you should be sure to discuss with your teen:

1. Cell phone use– Regardless of age or experience, cell phone use is always dangerous while driving. Talking on the phone and texting while driving are both extremely distracting for any driver because it interferes with keeping focus on the road. Teens should consider turning their cell phones off, or even storing it somewhere out of reach while they drive to avoid the temptation.

2. Limiting number of passengers– Like cell phones, friends can also be distracting for any teen driver. Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely to engage in risky driving habits with peers than when they’re alone. More passengers in a vehicle heighten the risk of distraction.

3. Seat belt use– This is something all drivers should do, not just teens. Seatbelts are the single most effective tool for saving lives and preventing injuries. Seat belts can make the difference between life and death.

4. Substance abuse– No substance abuse should be tolerated, especially for underage teens. Any amount of alcohol for an individual under 21 raises their risk of receiving a DUI in addition to jeopardizing lives. You should also discuss the risks of being a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or using other illegal substances.

5. Reviewing state driving laws– Discuss curfew times set by the state and the minimum number of practice hours required before getting a driver’s license. Ensure your teen fulfills all requirements and sets a foundation for safe driving. In addition to the state of Georgia’s driving laws, you should also discuss your expectations and restrictions of their driving privileges.

A parent will always worry about their teen hitting the roads for the first time, but educating them about safe habits, along with the consequences and rules of driving will help reduce the chances of an accident. Check out my website for more information on driving issues and DUI help and be sure to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

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Disclaimer

The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
reckless driving