In Georgia, vehicular manslaughter is also called vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is a serious charge in Georgia. Vehicular manslaughter occurs when an individual unlawfully and unintentionally causes the death of another individual while operating a motor vehicle. Usually, this involves an auto accident.
When charged with this offense, the driver can face fees, fines, probation, loss of driver’s license, and even jail time. The deceased victim’s family may also file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and fight to recover monetary damages for their loss.
What are the Different Types of Vehicular Manslaughter in Georgia?
There are two different charges of vehicular manslaughter in Georgia.
- First Degree Vehicular Homicide/ Manslaughter – This charge occurs when a driver causes the death of another individual while violating one of Georgia’s reckless driving or DUI laws, including, passing a school bus illegally, driving on a revoked driver’s license after being declared a habitual violator, fleeing from the police, or committing a hit and run.
- Second Degree Vehicular Homicide/ Manslaughter – This charge occurs when a driver causes the death of another individual while violating a traffic offense, including exceeding the speed limit, distracted driving, not yielding the right of way, or running a red light.
Second-degree vehicular homicide is considered a less severe offense than first-degree vehicular homicide. However, both are serious crimes because the crimes involve a loss of life.
Second-degree vehicular homicide is considered a misdemeanor, while first-degree vehicular manslaughter is considered a felony. The misdemeanor charge carries fewer penalties than a felony charge; however, both can result in fines, loss of a driver’s license, probation, parole or jail or prison time.
What is the Maximum Sentence in Georgia for Vehicular Manslaughter?
According to state laws, the sentence for vehicular manslaughter in Georgia will vary based on the circumstances surrounding the death. The following penalties are possible for both first-degree and second-degree vehicular manslaughter in Georgia.
Possible Penalties for First Degree Vehicular Manslaughter in Georgia:
First-Degree Vehicular Manslaughter Carries a Felony Charge, Which Means the Sentencing is More Severe.
Motorists who ware convicted of first-degree vehicular manslaughter can face prison sentences ranging between three years and fifteen years per death. However, if the driver has been classified as a habitual violator (the driver has been arrested and convicted more than two times in the last five years), the prison sentence can be increased to five years to twenty years per death. This extended sentence is also given to drivers who have had their license revoked for three years.
It is important to know that these penalties are based on death. If more than one person is killed as a result of a driver’s action, sentences can be stacked on top of each other. If multiple individuals are killed, the motorist could be facing many years, or even a lifetime, in prison or jail.
Second Degree Vehicular Homicide Penalties
If a motor vehicle operator is charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, the driver will be charged with a misdemeanor and can face a maximum fine of $1,000 and county jail time of up to one year per death.
The sentence for vehicle felony violations in Georgia carries a much longer prison time than other states. Additionally, because family members of the deceased individuals are given an opportunity to speak, they can sometimes persuade the judge to give out a more severe sentence. Exact jail times vary from case to case.
What if Another Driver Has Killed My Loved One?
If another driver killed your loved one in Georgia, you might be able to file a wrongful death against the driver. Wrongful death claims in Georgia allows family members to ask for compensatory damages for the deceased family member.
Certain family members can recover the full value of their loved one’s life, based on law calculations. This value includes costs for:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Companionship loss
- Lost benefits
- Income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages – these fines punish the motor vehicle operator for their actions
If your loved one died due to vehicular homicide/manslaughter, contact a wrongful death lawyer today. A lawyer will help file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased individual. Although money cannot replace your loved one, compensation can help family members recover from the financial strain caused by their loved one’s death.
Car Accident Lawyer Complimentary Consultation
If your family member was killed due to vehicular homicide, the Weinstein Firm is here to help. Our compassionate, experienced lawyers are available to represent your family. With more than 20 years of personal injury experience, we have the knowledge needed to get families the money they deserve to recover from a devastating accident. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation by filling out the form on our website or calling us at 770-Help-Now. We are not compensated unless we win your wrongful death case.