The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that fatal hit and run accidents are on the rise. This trend is across the country, and Georgia is no exception. While there may be several reasons why a person may leave the scene of an accident, it is important to understand that doing so is a serious offense in the state of Georgia.
Georgia Hit & Run Laws
Georgia law allows for those who leave the scene of an accident to be charged and convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony. When the accident is minor – in other words, the other party does not sustain any physical injuries – then a hit and run is classified as a misdemeanor criminal offense. Someone convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run may face a monetary fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or up to 12 months of jail time. When the accident is more serious, however – when there is serious bodily injury or death to the other party – a hit and run is classified as a felony criminal offense. Someone convicted of a felony hit and run faces different penalties depending on whether or not he or she is a first time or repeat offender. Specifically:
- A first-time conviction results in a monetary fine between $300.00 and $1,000.00 and between one and five years of jail time;
- A second conviction within a five-year time period measured from the date of the prior arrest that resulted in conviction to the current arrest results in a monetary fine between $600.00 and $1,000.00, as well as between one and five years of jail time;
- A third or subsequent conviction within a five-year time period measured from the date of the prior arrest that resulted in conviction to the current arrest results in a monetary fine of $1,000.00 and between one and five years of jail time.
Legal Duty When Driving in Georgia
Georgia’s hit and run laws require a driver involved in a Georgia accident to stop at, or return to, the scene of the accident if the driver was involved in an accident that (1) caused injury to another person, (2) resulted in the death of another person; and (3) resulted in damage to another vehicle. Once a driver has stopped at, or returns to, the scene of the accident Georgia law mandates that he or she:
- Provide his or her name and address as well as the registration number of the vehicle;
- Upon request and if available show his or her driver’s license to the driver, occupant, or whoever is attending the vehicle involved in the crash;
- Render reasonable assistance – including transporting or arranging transportation – to anyone who is hurt and is in apparent need of medical treatment due to the crash; and
- If an injured person is unconscious, appears to be deceased, or otherwise is unable to communicate, every reasonable effort must be made to ensure first responders are contacted regarding the crash.
Georgia Attorneys Available
If you or someone you know is facing hit and run charges in Georgia, contact Moffitt Law, LLC today. Everyone facing criminal charges is entitled to effective representation and a fair trial. Do not leave your life and liberty to chance. Contact us today.