Is a Hit & Run Conviction Always a Felony in Atlanta?

Hit-and-run accidents are a serious concern in Atlanta and across the United States. They not only pose a risk to public safety but also lead to questions about the legal consequences for those who flee the scene of an accident. One of the common misconceptions is whether a hit-and-run conviction is always a felony in Atlanta. In reality, the severity of the charge depends on various factors. This article will delve into the nuances of hit-and-run convictions in Atlanta and help you understand when they can be considered a felony.Is a Hit & Run Conviction Always a Felony in Atlanta

Understanding Hit & Run

A hit and run, also known as leaving the scene of an accident, occurs when a driver involved in a traffic collision fails to stop and provide identification and necessary information to the other party or law enforcement. Such actions are unlawful and can result in serious penalties.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

In Atlanta, as in many other jurisdictions, whether a hit-and-run conviction is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor depends on specific circumstances, including the extent of the damage or injuries caused by the accident, the driver’s intent, and their prior criminal record.

Misdemeanor Hit & Run

When the accident involves only property damage, such as a damaged vehicle, fence, or other structures, and no injuries, it is typically considered a misdemeanor offense.

A misdemeanor hit and run may result in penalties like fines, license suspension, and possible jail time, depending on the severity of the incident.

Felony Hit & Run

When the accident involves injuries to another person or persons, it is more likely to be considered a felony.

Felony hit and run convictions can lead to severe consequences, including substantial fines, significant prison time, and a more permanent impact on your criminal record.

Aggravating Factors

In Atlanta, and throughout Georgia, certain factors can elevate a hit and run charge to a felony, making the consequences even more severe:

Injuries or Death: If the accident results in injuries or death, the likelihood of facing felony charges increases significantly.

Previous Convictions: Having prior convictions on your record, particularly for similar offenses, can result in harsher penalties.

DUI Involvement: If the hit and run is connected to driving under the influence (DUI), it may lead to enhanced charges and penalties.

Fleeing the Scene Intentionally: If it can be proven that the driver intentionally left the scene to evade law enforcement or legal consequences, it may also lead to felony charges.

Defenses and Legal Options

In any hit and run case, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you explore potential defenses and legal options, such as negotiating a plea agreement, to mitigate the severity of the charges and minimize the consequences. Legal professionals may also examine the evidence, witnesses, and circumstances surrounding the incident to build a strong defense.

A hit and run conviction is not always a felony in Atlanta. Whether the offense is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on a variety of factors, including the extent of damage or injuries, the driver’s intent, and their prior criminal history. It is essential to understand the legal consequences of a hit and run and seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to navigate the complex legal landscape and protect your rights. Remember, the best way to avoid legal trouble is to act responsibly and remain at the scene of any accident, ensuring that all parties receive the necessary assistance and information.

How can Willis Law Firm help you if you have been in a hit and run accident in Atlanta?

At Willis Law Firm, we understand that being involved in a hit and run accident can be a traumatic and confusing experience. The stress of the situation, coupled with the legal complexities that often follow, can be overwhelming. We are here to provide you with the support and legal guidance you need during this challenging time.

Our team of experienced and dedicated attorneys is well-versed in handling hit and run accident cases in Atlanta. We offer a range of services to help you navigate the aftermath of such an incident and seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Here’s how Willis Law Firm can assist you if you’ve been in a hit and run accident in Atlanta:

Legal Experience: Our attorneys have a deep understanding of Georgia’s laws and regulations, particularly those related to hit and run accidents. We can help you determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We will work diligently to gather evidence related to the hit and run, including witness statements, surveillance footage, and any available information about the at-fault driver. This evidence is crucial for identifying the responsible party and building a strong case.

Insurance Claims: We can assist you in dealing with your insurance company and ensure that you receive fair compensation for property damage, medical bills, and other losses resulting from the accident.

Personal Injury Claims: If you sustained injuries in the hit and run, we can help you pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party, even if they are unidentified or underinsured. We will explore all available legal avenues to seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: In cases where the hit and run driver is unidentified or uninsured, we can help you navigate the process of filing an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company to obtain the compensation you need.

Criminal Charges: If the hit and run resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, we can represent your interests in any criminal proceedings or charges brought against the responsible party. We will work to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.

Negotiation and Litigation: Our experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators and litigators. We will negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, take your case to court to fight for your rights and secure the best possible outcome.

Emotional Support: We understand that the emotional toll of a hit and run accident can be significant. Our team is here to provide support and guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring you have the peace of mind you need to focus on your recovery.

At Willis Law Firm, we are committed to helping hit and run accident victims in Atlanta seek justice and recover the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, don’t face the legal challenges alone. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you on the path to recovery and justice. Your well-being and your rights matter to us, and we are here to protect them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *