ATV Driver Who Hit Atlanta Police Officer Now Facing Upgraded Charges

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

Fulton County Government Center

Atlanta, Ga. - As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I covered a DUI case that allegedly occurred during the riots and protests last weekend. A driver of an ATV was arrested on charges of serious injury by vehicle and DUI in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Police Department has released statements accusing the driver of attempting to strike at least two other officers and deliberately driving into the subsequently hit officer. The injured officer was assisting with traffic in an intersection off of Spring Street. He was hit by the driver on the ATV around 10:30 PM on May 30th.

The officer was seriously injured and was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital. He is currently still a patient there. He underwent several emergency surgeries, and he has only just been moved out of the intensive care unit this past week.

The charges faced by the ATV driver have been upgraded to several serious violent felonies including aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Although he is facing upgraded charges, as an Atlanta DUI Attorney, I will cover 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

Call our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested within the City of Atlanta.

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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