Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello. For a first offense leaving the scene of the accident in GA, you are looking at probably a misdemeanor if there was just property damage and no injuries. You could face fines of $300 to $1000 dollars and up to 1 year in jail (although from what I am reading I understand jail time is rare on a first offense). Additionally, it is an automatic revocation of license for 6 months or more (I know you did not want to hear that). You CAN apply for a hardship license for work purposes and if you have no prior record it should be granted without issue on a first offense. If you can afford an attorney I suggest that you get one. If you were driving an 18 wheeler and the roads weren't all that great that evening and then you stopped fairly close to the accident scene, you might be able to make out a defense that you did not believe that you could stop safely immediately after it happened so you slowed down gradually and pulled over to a complete stop at that time -- which was when you were going to call the police, but the officer was already behind you. I don't think that defense would work with a regular motor vehicle -- but with a large truck you needed to get control of the vehicle and yourself and that is when you pulled over. However, with you arguing the case you may not get very far -- if you have a lawyer speak with the prosecutor they may be able to get the charges down to something less than leaving the scene of an accident in order to preserve your driver's license at least. If you absolutely cannot afford a lawyer you can see if the court will appoint one for you based upon your finances -- but you have to be just above poverty level for that so they might not appoint a lawyer.
I wish I had better news -- but I do believe that a lawyer will help to preserve your license and ultimately that is what you want. To find a local lawyer contact your county bar association -- they all have referral services and if you tell them your situation they can give you names of a few lawyers that you can speak with and then you can decide which one may be able to help you with such a defense.
Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time. Even if you have placed a deposit, I am not paid until you press ACCEPT. If you are having trouble with the ACCEPT button please let me know and I will get it straightened out.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).