Atlanta Police Officer Hit by ATV in Downtown During Riots

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters

Atlanta, Ga. - As I reported yesterday, protests and riots turned violent on Friday in honor of George Floyd's death by a police officer in Minneapolis.

Riots and protests continued into Saturday and Sunday as well. An Atlanta Police officer was injured during the chaos last night. The officer was conducting traffic control at an intersection off of Spring Street. An alleged rioter on an ATV sped into the intersection and ended up striking the officer. This resulted in significant injuries to the officer. He was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital by a medical unit provided by the National Guard. Fortunately, he is in stable condition according to reports today.

As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I will point out that although the riots and protests cover a vast array of criminal activities, the act allegedly committed by the ATV driver falls into a category of DUI related offenses. In today's post, I will outline the law behind the offense of serious injury by vehicle.

Serious Injury by Vehicle

O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 defines serious injury by vehicle as:

Whoever, without malice, shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless through the violation of Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle. A person convicted under this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 15 years.

This law does not define what constitutes a serious injury, so in these situations, we have to look to other sources within the Georgia Code. Other Georgia laws define it as a “fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, or loss of consciousness.”  To be considered serious, the injury does not need to be permanent. Instead, a serious, temporary injury is sufficient and only needs to impair or injure a person's appearance. 

In the past, injuries such as loss of vision in one eye, blurry vision, a two-inch scar on the forehead, broken ribs, and severe bruising have qualified as “serious.”  Whether an injury is serious is a question of fact to be determined by the jury.

Serious injury by vehicle is classified as a felony offense. The penalty if convicted of serious injury by vehicle can include high fines and up to fifteen years in prison.

Practice Note

Serious injury by vehicle charges are frequently accompanied by charges for DUI in Atlanta. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, call an Atlanta DUI Attorney today. We can help you with your case now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard S. Lawson is passionate about intoxicated driving defense. Unlike some attorneys, Mr. Lawson devotes 100% of his legal practice to helping people stand up for their rights against DUI charges. For more than 20 years, Mr. Lawson has dutifully fought for his clients' freedom, resolving more 4,900 impaired driving cases during the course of his career. Today, Mr. Lawson has developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and continues to help clients by fighting to keep them out of jail.


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