Hit-and-Run

Hit-and-Run

A conviction for Hit-and-Run carries serious legal consequences, and in some cases is classified as a felony offense under Georgia law.  It also can result in the loss of driving privileges.  You should never go to traffic court and enter a guilty plea to Hit-and-Run without speaking to a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney first.

According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270, Georgia’s Hit and Run Law, when a driver is involved in an accident resulting in either injury or death or damage to an occupied vehicle must stop the vehicle at the scene and:

  • Give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle.
  • If possible, show his or her driver’s license to the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
  • Render assistance to injured driver(s) if necessary and if the driver requests it. This may include transporting the individual to the hospital or calling an ambulance.
  • If the other driver is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to contact emergency medical services and local law enforcement.

The law states that every stop should be made without obstructing the flow of traffic more than necessary.

Hit-and-Run Penalties

Offense Classification Sentence
1st Offense – Hit-and-Run causing minor injury or damage Misdemeanor Fine of at least $300 but not more than $1,000 and/or

Imprisonment for up to 12 months

2nd Offense in 5 Years – Hit-and Run causing minor injury or damage Misdemeanor Fine of at least $600 but not more than $1,000 and/or

Imprisonment for up to 12 months

3rd Offense in 5 Years – Hit-and Run causing minor injury or damage Misdemeanor Fine of $1,000 and/or

Imprisonment for up to 12 months

Hit-and-Run where accident caused death or serious injury Felony Imprisonment for at least 1 year but not more than 5 years

It is important to note that previous pleas of “nolo contendre,” or no contest, will count as convictions for purposes of calculating sentences.

Further, the “five-year” periods are measured by arrest dates, not by conviction dates.

With regard to fines, Georgia law also specifies that fines may not be stayed, probated, or suspended.  However, if payment in a lump sum would create an economic hardship, a judge may order that payments be made in installments.

License Suspension for Hit-and-Run Convictions

In addition to the penalties above, a conviction for hit-and-run will also result in a mandatory license suspension under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-54.

For the first conviction in 5 years for hit-and-run or another serious driving offense (such as homicide by vehicle, racing, use of a motor vehicle in attempting to flee or elude a law enforcement officer, or any felony involving the use of a motor vehicle), the license suspension will last for an initial period of 12 months.  However, after 120 days (4 months), the driver may apply for early reinstatement if he or she completes a Defensive Driving course or a Risk Reduction Program.  He or she must also pay a reinstatement fee of $210 (if paid in person) or $200 (if paid by mail).  During the first 120 days of the suspension, a limited permit may be available.

For the second conviction in 5 years for hit-and-run or another serious driving offense, the suspension period will last for a period of 3 years.  Early reinstatement may be granted after 120 days if the driver completes a Defensive Driving course or a Risk Reduction Program.   A reinstatement fee of $210 (in person) or $200 (by mail) must also be paid.

Upon a third conviction in 5 years for hit-and-run or another serious driving offense, the individual is considered a habitual violator and his or her license will be revoked for a period of 5 years.  After 2 years have elapsed, the individual may be able to apply for a probationary license.

Because Hit-and-Run is considered such a serious crime and can result in huge fines, probation, community services, and imprisonment, you need an attorney on your side who will fight for you.  Call me today.

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