Everyone knows the importance of driving carefully and obeying traffic laws. What many people do not know is the serious nature of criminal traffic offenses, well beyond the scope of simple citations. Georgia law is very strict concerning criminal traffic offenses, and has stringent penalties in place for those who violate traffic laws to a criminal extent. It is important that anyone accused of a criminal traffic offense be swift in defending their legal rights in order to avoid a permanent criminal record and points on the individual’s driving record.
It is common knowledge that some traffic offenses fall in the category of criminal offenses, such as:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Hit and run
- Driving with a suspended driver’s license
A few more serious traffic offenses fall in the category of criminal offenses, including reckless driving, aggressive driving, eluding police, and homicide by vehicle. Read on to learn more about these criminal traffic offenses and the severe penalties that accompanies them.
- Reckless Driving – Georgia law defines reckless driving as the reckless disregard of people or property. Unfortunately, this definition is often open to interpretation, specifically by law enforcement officers who may have differing opinions on what constitutes recklessness. Penalties for a reckless driving conviction may include fines of up to $1,000 and could land you a maximum of one year in jail.
- Aggressive Driving – Georgia law defines aggressive driving in a manner similar to road rage, including intent to harass, intimidate, annoy, injure, obstruct, or molest another person. The penalties for a conviction of aggressive driving include fines of up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail.
- Eluding Police – Individuals who fail to stop for a police officer who has waved them down or turned on lights and sirens can be charged with fleeing or eluding police. Depending on whether the individual has previous charges of fleeing or eluding police, the penalties for a conviction of fleeing or eluding police include fines ranging between $500 and $5,000, and jail time ranging from 10-days to one year.
- Serious Injury by Vehicle – The criminal offense of serious injury by vehicle is the result of an injury caused by the negligence of someone else. Causing serious injury to someone else due to negligence, especially if the individual is permanently disabled, disfigured, or suffers an amputation, has serious consequences. The penalties for a conviction include jail time of at least one year, with as many as 15 possible years in prison.
- Homicide by Vehicle – Homicide by vehicle is a serious criminal offense in Georgia. This offense includes the acts of leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, DUI, eluding police, or other behaviors that result in the death of another person. A conviction of homicide by vehicle includes a prison sentence ranging from three to 15 years. Individuals who are not violating other laws, or who unintentionally contribute to the death of someone else by vehicle will be subject to lesser charges, which are penalized by fines of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison.
Fight Criminal Traffic Offenses
Criminal traffic offenses can wreak havoc on an individual’s driving and criminal records, and can result in expensive fines and potential incarceration. Even though these allegations are serious, there may be opportunities to negotiate a more favorable outcome, such as through a well thought out criminal defense. At Abt Law Firm, LLC, we understand how important it is to protect your rights and your future. Contact our office 24/7 to start getting the help you need to fight criminal traffic offenses. To keep your record clear, call us to schedule a free consultation at 1-800-NOJAIL-9 (1-800-665-2459).