Atlanta Police Officer Released from Hospital

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

APD Patrol Car

Atlanta, Ga. - As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I wrote about the Atlanta Police Officer who was struck by a motorist on an ATV during the first weekend of protests in Downtown Atlanta.

After a month's stay at a hospital, the officer has finally been released. The officer has been with the Atlanta Police Department for nearly two decades. During the incident, he was severely injured and both of his legs were shattered. The man who has been accused of striking the officer has remained in Fulton County Jail without being granted bond. Originally charged with various traffic violations, the man's charges have been upgraded to include aggravated assault as well as aggravated battery.

His charges also include serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, and DUI in Atlanta. In today's post, I will outline the law behind the offense of serious injury by vehicle.

Serious Injury by Vehicle

The Georgia Code defines Serious Injury by Vehicle in O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 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

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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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