A hit and run DUI is a serious offense in Georgia. At Carter/Pilgrim, our practice is focused exclusively on defending clients against DUI charges. We fight vigorously for the rights of our clients and have decades of experience successfully fighting hit and run DUI charges. Contact our Atlanta DUI lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.
Georgia Hit and Run DUI Laws
A hit and run accident happens when a driver collides with another occupied vehicle and then drives away. Under Georgia law, engaging in a hit and run, also called leaving the scene of an accident, is a criminal act. Drivers who are involved in an accident must immediately stop at or near the scene of the crash when the accident resulted in:
- Damage to another vehicle
- Injury to another person
- Death to another person
After the accident occurs, the driver must stop and do all of the following:
- Give the others involved his or her name, address, and vehicle registration number
- Provide his or her driver’s license upon request
- Contact emergency medical services when a person is unconscious, dead, or injured
- Make arrangements to transport an injured person to a medical facility
Failure to take the steps listed above after a hit and run accident will result in criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an accident is a felony offense when the accident resulted in someone’s serious injury or death. Leaving the scene of the accident results in a misdemeanor charge when nobody received a serious injury or died as a result of the accident.
When a driver hits an unattended vehicle, he or she must leave a written note with their name and address on the unattended vehicle where it is easily visible. Drivers who hit an unattended vehicle and drive away face criminal misdemeanor charges.
Georgia DUI Laws
In Georgia, a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) takes place when one of the following takes place:
- A law enforcement officer finds that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The chemical test result shows .08 percent or higher Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
Under the influence means that the driver consumed alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two and, as a result, cannot safely drive. A Georgia defendant can be guilty of a DUI even with a BAC of less than .08 percent. For example, the driver in a hit and run accident can have a BAC of only .01 percent and still face DUI charges or “impairment” DUI.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Hit and Run in Georgia?
In Georgia, the penalties for a DUI hit and run are extremely serious and depend on several factors. Leaving the scene of an accident and DUI are two separate crimes. When a Georgia court convicts a defendant of both offenses, the defendant will suffer the penalties from both crimes. Penalties for a Georgia DUI depend on whether the DUI is a first, second, third, or fourth conviction, as well as other factors. Hit and run drivers with a BAC of .15 percent or higher face enhanced penalties for the DUI charge. A driver who is under age 21 faces DUI penalties for a BAC of .02 percent or higher that includes a license revocation of a minimum of 6 months plus fines.
First-time Atlanta hit and run DUI offenders face up to a $1,000 fine and a license suspension of up to one year. They will also need to complete at least 40 hours of community service, probation, and an education course. The penalties increase in severity as the number of DUI convictions increases. For example, those convicted of a second DUI offense face the same penalties and up to a three-year license suspension. A fourth DUI offense is a felony charge which requires one to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000 in jail.
Our Hit and Run DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help
When a court convicts a defendant of a hit and run DUI, the defendant will face penalties for the crime of leaving the scene of an accident and the DUI charges. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in up to five years of jail time and fines of up to $5,000. The penalties for a DUI can include up to five years in state prison and a $5,000 fine. If prosecutors have charged you with a hit and run DUI, you need the representation of skilled DUI lawyers. Look no further than the Atlanta DUI defense law firm of Carter/Pilgrim. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn why we have a reputation for excellent DUI defense.