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Duty Upon Striking Unattended Vehicle in Georgia

In Georgia, it is a misdemeanor criminal offense to strike an unattended vehicle and drive away. The relevant law here is O.C.G.A. § 40-6-271

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-271 says that a driver who collides with an unattended vehicle must stop and attempt to locate the owner or operator of the vehicle. If the vehicle owner can be located, the driver must provide their name and address. If they cannot find the owner, they must leave a note in a conspicuous place with their name and address.

Criminal Consequences for Violating the Duty Upon Striking Unattended Vehicle Law

Violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-271 is a misdemeanor offense. It carries a maximum penalty of:

  • A fine of up to $1,000 (plus court costs and fees), and
  • A jail term of up to 12 months.

Instead of a jail sentence, the judge may order probation. They also may require you to complete community service, take a defensive driving course, or pay restitution. 

License Penalties

In addition to the criminal penalties that judges can assess after a conviction for Failure to Notify after Striking an Unattended Vehicle, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) will also assess 3 points on your license. If you are convicted of this offense in one of Georgia's criminal courts, that court will transmit a record of the conviction to DDS. DDS then assesses points to your license. Depending on your age and driving history, accumulating points can seriously affect your ability to keep driving. Read more about the consequences of license points here

This offense is far more problematic for drivers holding a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Under Georgia law, DDS considers Failure to Report Striking an Unattended Vehicle a "Major Traffic Violation." Conviction of a major traffic violation, including the Duty Upon Striking an Unattended Vehicle law, will result in disqualification of your CDL. If you rely on your CDL to make a living, disqualification can be devastating.

Call me today if a police officer has cited you for Striking an Unattended Vehicle.

A ticket for Striking an Attended Vehicle may seem like no big deal. Most people who receive a ticket for this offense will not go to jail. However, even seemingly minor traffic violations can have significant consequences, both in terms of time and money. Traffic court is time-consuming and frustrating. In addition to steep fines, convictions for traffic offenses can dramatically raise your insurance rates. They can also affect your ability to keep driving, especially if your driving history isn't spotless. Don't make the expensive mistake of going to court without a lawyer. Call me today.

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