Drunk Driver Kills One Son and Seriously Injures the Other

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Adrian Hyde was driving under the influence with his two sons in the car. Hyde lost control of his vehicle and ran into a tree. The crash killed his 11-year-old son and caused serious injury to his 13-year-old son. Police obtained a warrant to search the car and found an open bottle of Seagram's Gin in the glove box of the vehicle.

Seven months later, and after a long investigation by police, Hyde was charged with vehicular homicide and DUI child endangerment. If a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes serious injury or death, the legal consequences can be severe.

If you have been charged with vehicular homicide related to a DUI, you may not actually be guilty of any crime. Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty of it. An experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case to reduce or possibly even dismiss your charges.

Vehicular Homicide in Georgia

Vehicular homicide is the unintentional killing of another person while operating a motor vehicle while committing some kind of moving violation. Depending on the moving violation in question, the degree of the offense charged may be a felony or a misdemeanor.

First Degree

A first-degree vehicular homicide occurs when the underlying moving violation is:

  • Unlawfully passing a school bus,
  • Reckless Driving,
  • Fleeing or Attempting to Flee Law Enforcement,
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run), or
  • Felony DUI.

Second Degree

A second-degree vehicular homicide occurs any time the death is a result of a violation of any other statute than those specified for first degree charges. This includes all minor traffic tickets, the violation being the cause of the accident leading to the death.

Penalties for Vehicular Homicide

If you are charged with a first-degree vehicular homicide charge, you face:

  • 3 to 15 years in state prison per individual killed in the accident
    • These charges can be stacked (consecutive sentences)
    • A habitual violator driver can face 5 to 20 years in prison
  • Fines, Probation, and Community Service

If you are charged with a second-degree vehicular homicide charge, you face:

  • Up to 12 months in prison per individual killed in the accident
    • Consecutive sentences could also be imposed
  • Fines, Probation, and Community Service

If you face a felony conviction, not only will you have to deal with the penalties listed above, but also the stigma associated with the "felon" label. From now on, on every application which asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony, you will have to answer "yes." This could significantly affect your ability to maintain and find employment.

Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with vehicular homicide, your future is at stake. Do not plead guilty to such a serious charge. There are arguments and defenses that can be raised to defend your constitutional rights.

An experienced Georgia DUI attorney can fight to reduce or even dismiss your DUI. Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard S. Lawson is passionate about intoxicated driving defense. Unlike some attorneys, Mr. Lawson devotes 100% of his legal practice to helping people stand up for their rights against DUI charges. For more than 20 years, Mr. Lawson has dutifully fought for his clients' freedom, resolving more 4,900 impaired driving cases during the course of his career. Today, Mr. Lawson has developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and continues to help clients by fighting to keep them out of jail.


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