Cobb County deputies are on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who hit a 6-year-old boy, Jack Ford. On Sunday, Jack was walking across the crosswalk behind his family in Marietta. The driver allegedly illegally passed the stopped traffic on the wrong side of the road and hit him in the crosswalk. The driver fled from the scene of the accident before police arrived. Three passengers in his car stayed at the scene.
As usual, let's remember that no one should be assumed guilty because they were accused of a crime. However, let's analyze the charges the driver will most likely be facing if he is apprehended.
Hit and Run in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines Hit and Run in Georgia through O.C.G.A. §40-6-270: Hit and run; duty of driver to stop at or return to scene of accident.
“(a) 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…” The subsections define what you should do if you're involved in an accident.
1. Give your name, address, and registration number.
2. Exhibit your license to the person you hit or the driver of the car you hit.
3. Render any reasonable assistance to the person you hit.
4. Make every reasonable effort to ensure emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted if the injured person is unconscious, appears deceased, or unable to communicate.
The statute goes on to say that the driver is to remain at the scene of the accident until he or she has fulfilled the above requirements. If the accident is the proximate cause of death OR serious injury, and the driver knowingly fails to stop and comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. §40-6-270, then he or she will be guilty of a felony and be facing one to five years of imprisonment. If the accident is the proximate cause of a minor injury or vehicle damage, and the driver knowingly fails to stop and comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. §40-6-270, then he or she will be guilty of a misdemeanor and be facing a fine anywhere between $300 and $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail.
This situation could be an example of when more charges are added after someone is arrested. Most people don't know but the police not are the the final word when someone is charged with a crime. The District Attorney ultimately decides who is charged with a crime and on what charges. The District Attorney could, charge the driver with Aggravated Assault in Georgia by inferring the driver's intent from fleeing the scene.
Aggravated Assault in Georgia
According to the Georgia Code, assault in Georgia is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-5-20. “A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either (1) attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or (2) commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.” Aggravated assault is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-5-21. “A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults: with intent to murder, to rape, or to rob; with a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation; or a person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.” If convicted of aggravated assault, then he or she will face a felony conviction and imprisonment between 1 to 20 years.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a Hit and Run or Aggravated Assault in Georgia, contact a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today.