There were two people killed along with seven others injured this past week in an accident in neighboring Union City.
According to reports, a tractor-trailer was at a complete stop on a local parkway waiting to turn into a parking lot. A passenger van carrying adults with special needs crashed head on into its bumper - subsequently killing the driver and the passenger in the second row of the van.
As a Henry County DUI Lawyer, I handle cases involving not only DUI in Henry County but all related offenses as well. The case above is still under heavy investigation - however, if the fatality is suspected to be the result of DUI or reckless driving in Henry County, then a resulting charge of vehicular homicide is to be expected. In today's post, I will outline the offense of vehicular homicide.
Vehicular Homicide in Henry County
Vehicular homicide in Henry County is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §40-6-393 which divides the offense into two separate degrees.
First degree vehicular homicide is defined as:
(a) Any person who, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person through the violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-163, Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391, subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-270 or subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-395 commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 15 years.
This means that if a driver causes the death of another through the commission of any of the following offenses then he or she is guilty of vehicular homicide in the first degree. These offenses include: DUI, Unlawful Passing of a School Bus, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer.
First degree vehicular homicide is classified as a felony offense. The penalty for a first degree vehicular homicide conviction can include up to fifteen years in prison.
Second degree vehicular homicide is defined as:
(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 subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-163, subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-270, Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391, or subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-395 commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the second degree when such violation is the cause of said death and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 17-10-3.
This means that if a person causes the death of another through the commission of a traffic violation other than those listed in the first section of the law above, then he or she is guilty of vehicular homicide in the second degree. Some examples of offenses can include: speeding, failure to maintain lane, illegal passing, etc. If the alleged traffic violation is not outline in the first degree vehicular homicide statute, then a person is most likely facing second degree vehicular homicide.
Second degree vehicular homicide is classified as a misdemeanor offense. The penalty for a second degree vehicular homicide conviction can include up to twelve months in jail as well as fines up to $1,000.
Convictions for serious traffic violations should not be taken lightly. Most people are under the impression that traffic violations are not that serious. While that may be true of certain offenses that are only punishable by a fine - other offenses such as the ones listed above can result in some very real jail or prison time.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Henry County, contact a Henry County DUI Attorney now.