Have You Been Charged with Hit and Run in Georgia?
In Georgia, hit and run is a serious crime. It occurs when a person hits another vehicle and either leaves the scene or fails to properly identify themselves to the other driver or the police. Hit and run can occur if the vehicle is occupied or unoccupied. A person convicted of hit and run in Georgia will face harsher penalties than a DUI. If you or a loved one has been charged with hit and run, you need to act now to protect your rights! For over 20 years, Lawson and Berry has defended hit and run cases throughout Georgia. Put our experience to work for you now.
Hit and Run Laws in Georgia
O.C.G.A. §40-6-270 is Georgia's hit and run statute.
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall
- Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving
- Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;
- Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person; and
- Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
Striking an unattended vehicle is less serious than the previously described hit and run statute. Georgia code O.C.G.A. §40-6-271 reads as follows:
The driver of any vehicle which collides with any vehicle which is unattended shall immediately stop and shall then and there either locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or shall leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle struck a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle doing the striking.
If convicted of violating striking an unattended vehicle and failing to provide information, the crime will be treated as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor conviction in Georgia comes with a fine up to $1,000, up to 12 months in jail, or both.
Lastly, O.C.G.A. §40-6-273 outlines the duty to report an accident that resulted in injury, death, or property damage. The statute reads as follows:
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more shall immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department if such accident occurs within a municipality. If such accident occurs outside a municipality, such notice shall be given to the office of the county sheriff or the nearest office of the state patrol.
The Penalty for a Hit and Run Conviction in Georgia
A person convicted of hit and run in Georgia will face severe penalties. If the accident was the proximate cause of death or severe injury, then the driver that knowingly failed to stop will be guilty of a felony. Their punishment will include a prison sentence between one and five years. If convicted, the driver will also face at least a four-month driver's license suspension. There are limited circumstances where a driver may qualify for a restricted license. However, if convicted of DUI and hit and run, you will not be eligible for any license.
If your license was already suspended or you have prior offenses on your record, you could face a “hard suspension” of your license. This means that you will not have a license or a permit.
If the accident resulted in an injury that was not serious or damage to the vehicle, then the driver who knowingly failed to stop will be guilty of a misdemeanor. The punishment will be as follows:
- A first conviction be consist of a fine between $300 and $1,000, jail time up to 12 months, or both;
- A second conviction within five years will elevate the fine between $600 and $1,000 or jail time up to 12 months, or both;
- A third or subsequent conviction will result in a $1,000 fine, up to 12 months in jail, or both.
Even though the penalties for hit and run in Georgia are intense, there is hope for you! Our Georgia hit and run lawyers have over 20 years of experience getting states to reduce the charge to a less serious offense. Many offenses that are similar to hit and run that do not carry a license suspension. We have also had success in getting the hit and run charge dropped altogether. Our attorneys will work diligently to save your license!
Georgia Defenses to a Hit and Run Charge
Officers make mistakes too, and sometimes an officer perceived a situation as a hit and run when in actuality, it was simply failing to report striking a fixed object under Georgia law. No matter the circumstances, our Georgia Hit and Run Attorneys can help you. We understand how to make the hit and run laws work in your favor! Even if your charge is for violating O.C.G.A. §40-6-270 which comes with a license suspension, we will work to demonstrate that your case is more like failure to report an accident which is a much less serious charge.
If you have been charged with hit and run and are wondering what to do next, contact our hit and run attorneys in Georgia now. Our lawyers have defended thousands of cases, and we have represented teens, commercial drivers, adults, and everyone in between. Call now and schedule a free case evaluation with our Georgia hit and run lawyers.