Hit and Run Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
Every driver runs the risk of getting into an accident when they set out on the roadways, no matter how cautious or attentive they are. However, sometimes when you’re the one who causes an accident you may inadvertently leave the incident scene without taking the necessary legal steps. When this happens, you could be at serious risk for being charged with a hit & run crime which can carry with it serious consequences. If you’ve recently been in a situation like this and are wondering, “Can I be arrested for a hit and run?” you need to seek legal advice immediately.
If you’re in or near Atlanta, Georgia, reach out to me at my firm — Kyle H. Jarzmik Law — to speak with a versatile and trusted criminal attorney. I can deliver the reliable guidance and advocacy you need.
Whenever you’re involved in a car accident you should always follow a few basic steps and know your responsibilities if you hit someone or something.
The first thing you should do is stop your car and make sure you and any passengers are unharmed. Next, you should check on the other driver and exchange information such as a contact name and number as well as insurance policy information, license plate number, and take any pictures or videos of the scene.
While it’s more important that you provide all this information for the other driver whom you hit, it’s also a good idea to have their information as well. Next, you should call law enforcement and wait there until they show up. If you are caught leaving the scene of the accident, you run the risk of criminal charges.
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Hit & Run Laws in Georgia
Each state will have slightly different laws regarding hit and runs. In Georgia, the rules surrounding these charges can be quite serious.
By Georgia law, you’re required to provide all the information listed above as well as provide any reasonable assistance to the driver of the car you hit. This could include transporting them to a hospital or making arrangements for them to get medical attention.
In other cases that don’t involve possible injuries, you still have to provide reasonable assistance. Say you hit an unattended vehicle. If this happens, you must stop and make a reasonable effort to find the owner of the car. If you cannot, you must leave a note for them that provides your name and contact information.
There are a range of penalties for a hit and run in Georgia and in general, they become more severe if you have previous convictions on your record or if the accident caused a serious injury or death.
For hit and runs that cause only minor injuries or damages, the first, second and third offenses are usually tried as misdemeanors and may result in fines or jail time of up to 12 months. It can also result in the suspension of your driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia. However, if the injuries inflicted on the victim were serious, you could be facing felony charges and prison time of one to five years.
Since each hit and run incident is unique, so are the possible defenses for every case.
One option may be to show that you were actually unaware that you were involved in a collision or that it caused any injuries. A hit and run conviction requires the prosecution to prove you were aware of what you did and intentionally left the scene of the crime.
Alternatively, you may be able to show that you were unable to stop because of a prior emergency (for example, if you were on your way to the hospital). Finally, in some cases, you could claim you were involuntarily impaired, such as being drugged without your consent.
Hit & Run Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
If you're in the Atlanta, Georgia area and are concerned about a potential hit and run charge, reach out to my office today at Kyle H. Jarzmik Law. I proudly represent clients throughout Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Douglas County, Cherokee County, Paulding County, and others.It