Is Vehicular Homicide A Misdemeanor Or A Felony Charge In Georgia?
Georgia has two versions of vehicular homicide and one unique aspect about Georgia law is that there is a second-degree vehicular homicide charge, and that does not involve any alcohol or drugs. It’s purely an action. Most states don’t have this charge but Georgia does and it’s a misdemeanor. As is the case with any misdemeanor, a person charged with this crime would be facing up to 12 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. On the other hand, there is felony vehicular homicide, which is a very serious charge that relates to instances where someone has consumed alcohol or drugs. In Georgia, they can also be charged with felony vehicular homicide if they are just driving recklessly without using alcohol or drugs. They are then facing up to 15 years in state prison and a large fine.
How Do You Defend Clients Who Are Charged With Vehicular Homicide?
It’s very work-intensive to defend a vehicular homicide case. One of the first things that you have to do is to immediately hire an accident reconstruction expert to go to the accident scene, take measurements, see if there are skid marks, and download the data in the black boxes of both cars involved in the accident. Additionally, there are other expert witnesses who need to be hired, such as a toxicologist. These cases typically involve a blood test and the blood test has to be scrutinized by an expert to see if any mistakes were made. It takes a lot of experience to handle these cases.
Do Vehicular Homicide Cases Mostly Go To Trial Or Do They Settle Out Of Court?
For a misdemeanor second degree vehicular homicide, it’s more common to negotiate an agreement that’s extremely favorable to the client than it is to go to trial. However, first-degree vehicular homicide felony cases often do need to go to trial because prosecutors tend to make offers to settle the case that are unacceptable to a client. It’s an extremely serious charge and it takes someone with experience to represent the accused in these matters. Additionally, there is a key element in any vehicular homicide case and that’s called causation. Causation speaks to who is the cause of the accident. This can also lead to an excellent defense, even if the client is impaired, was speeding, or was driving too fast. If ultimately, they were not the cause of the accident and the other party caused the accident, this can lend itself to a very strong defense.
Is It Ever Possible To Have A Vehicular Homicide Charge Reduced To A Lesser Offense?
It is possible to get a vehicular homicide charge reduced to a lesser offense. A very successful negotiation on a felony vehicular homicide would be to have it reduced to a misdemeanor vehicular homicide in the second degree. That is something that does happen. Quite often, that possibility is linked to whether or not the client is the cause of the accident. If they’re not the cause of the accident, often favorable things happen in negotiations
Additional Information On Vehicular Homicide Charges In Georgia
For any vehicle homicide case, the officer’s training is very important. Each officer’s training transcript at the Post Training Center in South Georgia is something that should always be sent for to see how competent the police officer is and to measure whether or not he followed proper protocols. Also, in these cases, it’s very valuable to get the officer’s internal affairs file to see if this officer has been given any sort of reprieves or punishments for engaging in behavior that’s less than professional.
For more information on Vehicular Homicide Cases In Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (404) 681-4000.
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