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Representation from an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are many different crimes that can occur through the use of a vehicle. Although the first scenario to come to mind for most people is injury or death resulting from someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but there are many other situations where a person could face serious charges for getting behind the wheel of a car.

Everybody is aware of the tragic story of someone who drives after having too much to drink, leading to a terrible accident where someone is seriously hurt or killed. It is the presumption of most officers who investigate the scene of a traffic accident that if one party was drinking, then that individual is at fault. Prosecutors are quick to charge the driver with the most serious charge available, including driving under the influence resulting in injury, vehicular manslaughter, and possibly even murder.

Understanding Vehicular Crimes

There are many factors that come into play that mitigate, or even eliminate, the fault of the driver. Although there may have been alcohol involved, the driver may not have been over the limit for driving under the influence in Georgia. Moreover, the other party is not always blameless in accidents like these and may have contributed to, or even caused, the accident. Finally, external circumstances, such as weather, road condition, or other factors may be the reason for the accident. An experienced attorney can help you discover the real reasons for the accident and help you get the charges dismissed, or limit the seriousness of the charges against you.

Vehicular crimes involve more than just alcohol related offenses. If you injured or killed somebody while engaging in a dangerous or reckless activity, then you could face serious charges. Some of the most common behaviors that lead to criminal prosecution include:

  • Speeding;
  • Driving on a suspended license;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Aggressive driving;
  • Attempting to evade capture by police;
  • Texting or talking on your cell phone or other mobile device without safety measures such as a hands-free device;
  • Failing to adhere to traffic laws, such as looking in the intersection for pedestrians or bike riders before making a turn or passing another vehicle in an unsafe manner; or
  • Engaging in fraud that led to serious injury or death, specifically including intentionally causing an accident to collect insurance payouts that resulted in harm to another person.

Under Georgia law, if you caused the death of a person while operating your vehicle, you may be charged with first degree homicide by vehicle if you were driving under the influence, left the scene of an accident, caused the death while fleeing from police, engaged in reckless driving, or caused the death while attempting to pass a school bus that was stopped to pick-up or drop-off children. If charged with first degree homicide by vehicle, you could face up to fifteen years in prison. A charge of second degree homicide by vehicle may result if you caused the death of someone, but the qualifiers for a first degree charge were not present. This is a misdemeanor offense and a sentence may include up to a year in jail, along with fines.

Gain an Aggressive Criminal Attorney in Atlanta

If you have been charged with a vehicular crime in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, or Cobb County, or any other county surrounding Atlanta, Georgia, the Law Office of Tanya F. Miller, LLC may be able to help you get the charges dismissed, or minimize the penalties that you may face.