Accidents that are caused by DUI’s are some of the most severe of all collisions, as noted by Atlanta criminal attorney Andre Sailers. If you have been involved in an auto accident and were suspected of DUI, you may face serious criminal penalties in addition to any drunken driving charges you could be up against. Causing serious injury or death to another person by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a felony offense which may be punishable by up to 15 to 20 years in prison, depending upon the circumstances.
By becoming involved early in the DUI process, an attorney will be able to provide more effective defense strategies and help you during your DMV hearing, as well as in negotiations with the prosecution before your case ever goes to trial. Your liberty and your future are on the line in the case of a DUI auto accident, and the best thing you can do for yourself during this time is to consult with a defense lawyer before it's too late.
Under Georgia state law, DUI manslaughter, referred to as "homicide by vehicle" involves the unlawful killing of another person by the use of a vehicle. This can be entirely accidental. If you are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and cause a DUI accident which results in another's death, you will be charged with first degree homicide by vehicle, a felony offense that carries a sentence of 3 to15 years in state prison. If you are labeled a habitual violator, you may face a state prison sentence of 5 to 20 years.
DUI with injury, referred to as "serious injury by vehicle" in Georgia law, occurs when an individual causes amputation, disfigurement, brain damage, or another serious injury by motor vehicle. This is a felony offense which may result in a state prison sentence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1 in 3 fatal motor vehicle accidents that occur each year involve a legally intoxicated driver, so the punishment has become only that much more severe for DUI offenders.
In addition to potential jail time, heavy fines, alcohol education and treatment, and increased insurance premiums, someone convicted of a DUI can expect for this to stay on their criminal record for the rest of their life. In Georgia, the law does not permit for the expungement of a DUI conviction, so if you have been involved in a DUI accident, it is important to defend yourself against these charges as soon as you have been arrested. You can contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer for effective representation both in and out of court.