Vehicular Homicide with DUI
Car accidents happen every day. The most tragic car accidents involve the death of another driver, passenger or pedestrian. Being involved in a car accident that results in the death of another is a horrible experience. When the driver is also charged with being under the influence of alcohol, that accident can result in years in prison, as vehicular homicide.
Vehicular homicide, or “homicide by vehicle,” is codified by O.C.G.A. 40-6-393. Under Georgia law, any person who, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person through certain vehicle code violations, commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree.
Only a few code violations will lead to first degree vehicular homicide. These include:
- Overtaking a school bus;
- Fleeing a police officer;
- Leaving the scene of an accident;
- Reckless driving; and
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The penalties for a first degree homicide by vehicle conviction include from 3 to 15 years in jail. This would be in addition to the penalties for any additional charges, such as for a DUI or eluding a police officer. First degree homicide by vehicle is a felony, and would include all the consequences of a felony conviction, such as limitations on gun ownership and complications with job opportunities and professional prospects for the future.
Even if you have a perfect driving record, and no prior arrests, a one-time accident can land you in jail for more than a decade. In some cases, the penalties can be even greater, with the possibility of up to 20 years in prison. After being declared a habitual violator, and while their license is in revocation, causing the death of another by operation of a motor vehicle will result in a prison sentence of not less than 5 years, up to 20 years. This could be in addition to the charges for driving on a revoked license.
Any other code violations involving a death by vehicle would result in a second degree charge for homicide by vehicle. This is a misdemeanor charge, rather than a felony. As a misdemeanor, the penalties could include a fine of up to $1,000, and up to 12 months in jail. Again, this would be in addition to penalties for other code violations.
Atlanta Lawyer For Under Vehicular Homicide
If you were arrested for driving under the influence in an accident that involved the death of another person, you should not have to fight the charges on your own. You may not only face the penalties for an Atlanta DUI, but you could face up to 20 years in jail for first degree vehicular homicide. If the accident was not your fault, you should not have to go to jail just because the police arrested you for a DUI. An Atlanta DUI lawyer will be able to identify all available defenses to keep you out of jail. Call me today, so we can discuss what happened in your case, and I will fight for you to keep your license, and keep your record clear.