Decatur, Ga. – A person was killed in a traffic accident earlier today. The wreck caused some serious delays and actually shut down I-20 E in DeKalb County.
The incident occurred near the Candler Road exit. One of the vehicles caught completely on fire and firefighters worked hard to calm the flames. So far no charges have been filed according to police. However, in today's post, I will outline the law behind one of the potential charges faced by the driver in this incident – vehicular homicide.
Under Georgia Law, one of the most severe charges anyone can face is vehicular homicide. The degrees of vehicular homicide are laid out in O.C.G.A. §40-6-393. Vehicular homicide in the first degree will be charged with a person, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person by either unlawfully passing a school bus, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident. Vehicular homicide is in the second degree when it occurs due to a violation of any statute other than the ones specifically mention for vehicular homicide in the first degree.
In Georgia, vehicular homicide can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Vehicular homicide is considered a misdemeanor when death occurs because of a violation of a basic traffic law such as speeding, following too closely, or failure to maintain lane. Conviction of a misdemeanor vehicular homicide can result in up to one year in jail. However, vehicular homicide is considered a felony when death occurs as the result of a D.U.I. or reckless driving. If convicted, a felony vehicular homicide may lead to a 15 years prison sentence.
Whether or not the driver acted maliciously during the commission of the crime is irrelevant. The only thing a judge will consider is whether the driver violated traffic laws.
Very often, vehicular homicide charges are seen in DUI cases. Usually, the underlying offense is reckless driving or DUI. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Decatur, call our offices now. A Decatur DUI Lawyer can help you today.