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When Does Vehicular Homicide GA Become Murder?

When Does Vehicular Homicide Become Murder? In Georgia, ‘homicide’ refers to a criminal offense that causes the death of an individual. It covers murder and manslaughter, but the former is considered more severe since it is intentional.

So, if your loved one is unintentionally killed by a speeding car, the driver may be charged with vehicular homicide GA. But if they ran them over with the intent to murder them, the charge would turn into a murder charge. As your trusted Atlanta wrongful death attorney, Shani O. Brooks P.C. can bring you closure by bringing the negligent party to justice.

Vehicular Homicide GA

Vehicular Homicide in Georgia

As per the Georgia Vehicular Homicide GA statute, a person commits homicide via a vehicle when they unintentionally and without malice cause the death of another individual. This covers a range of scenarios where the actions of the driver result in a fatal outcome. Some common examples include the following:

  • Driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol).
  • Passing a school bus improperly.
  • Leaving the scene of a vehicular homicide GA that they caused.
  • Running away from the police officer after causing the death of another individual with their vehicle (intentionally or otherwise).
  • Causing the death of an individual by violating laws other than those mentioned above.

It’s important to note that “malicious aforethought” can elevate vehicular homicide GA to a murder charge. This concept emphasizes the significance of intent in determining the severity of criminal offenses. While vehicular homicide GA itself is not considered murder in the state, the presence of malicious intent can severely change the legal consequences faced by the defendant.

Penalties and Punishments

Vehicular homicide GA can result in either a felony punishable or a misdemeanor charge, each carrying separate penalties determined by the factors surrounding the offense. The consequences may include license suspension or the possibility of obtaining a limited driving permit.

First-degree vehicular homicide in Georgia can lead to a three-year license suspension, with no option for obtaining a limited driving permit. This maximum penalty reflects the severity of the offense and aims to deter reckless behavior on the roads.

On the other hand, second-degree vehicular homicide charges in Georgia may result in a shorter license suspension period of 120 days. However, there is a provision for individuals facing this charge: they may be granted a limited driving permit for up to a year in exchange for a temporary suspension. This permit allows individuals to continue driving under specific conditions, such as for work or essential activities. Also, upon the permit’s expiration, individuals may have the option to renew it, provided they meet the essential requirements.

There are two common types of charges you can face:

Misdemeanor Vehicular Homicide GA

This is a charge you can get if you unintentionally cause the accidental death of a person because you broke traffic rules. Examples of such violations include criminal speeding, running red lights, or failure to yield. While the act may not have been malicious, the consequences can be severe, leading to charges of misdemeanor vehicular homicide in Georgia.

Felony Vehicular Homicide GA

This is a criminal charge you can get if you accidentally cause the road death of a person because you were driving under the influence or recklessly. Careless driving under the influence refers to operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or the influence of drugs, which significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time. Reckless driving involves operating a vehicle with intentional and reckless disregard for the safety of others, such as excessive speeding, aggressive driving maneuvers, or ignoring traffic laws. Both driving under the influence and furious driving demonstrate a blatant disregard for the safety of others on the road, making them serious offenses under the law.

The penalties can also be quite harsh. Both misdemeanor and felony charges for vehicular negligent homicide carry lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines, which a judge determines. The latter can lead to a life in prison life sentence spanning three to 15 years, per the case’s circumstances.

If you are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, it can result in a severe punishment of one year in prison. This can also include a year on probation and a fine of up to $1,000. These severe penalties serve to deter future instances of reckless, dangerous driving and uphold public safety on the roads.

Contact Shani O. Brooks For A Consultation Today!

If you lost a loved one because of a driver’s negligence or believe they targeted the victims with the intent to kill, an Atlanta wrongful death attorney can ensure you see justice. Shani O. Brooks can help you find closure and get the compensation that your family deserves during this tragedy. Do not give up!

Wrongful death cases following vehicular homicide GA can be complex. You need legal representation that can fight for your rights and ensure the perpetrators do not get away with murder.

Feel free to reach out and call our Atlanta office at 404-920-4736 today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help you through this difficult and emotional time, and help you get the fair compensation you deserve.

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