OCGA 40-6-393 establishes 2 grades of vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular homicide which is a felony, and second-degree vehicular homicide which is the misdemeanor. 40-6-393A and B provide that any person who without malice aforethough causing the death of another person to the violation of subsection a of code section 40-6-163, code section 40-6-390, 440-6-391, or subsection a of code section 40-6-395 commits the offense of homicide by vehicular first-degree and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 3 years nor more than 15 years.
A driver of a motor vehicle who, without malice aforethought, causes an accident which causes the death of another person and leave the scene of the accident in violation of subsection B of code section 40-6-270 commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the 1st degree and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 3 years nor more than 15 years .
If a felony vehicular homicide was committed by a HV drive or with its predicate serious driving offense being a violation of OCGA 40-6-391 the conviction will result in 90% of any sentence being served. Any other predicate serious driving offense such as hit-and-run reckless driving attempting to elude does not trigger the 90% guidelines. OCGA 40-6-393D provides that any person who after being declared a habitual violator as determined under code section 40-5-58 and while such person's license is in revocation, causes the death of another person, without malice aforethought, by operation of a motor vehicle, commits the offense of homicide by vehicular first-degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 5 years nor more than 20 years, an adjudication of guilt or imposition of such sentence or person so convicted may be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld but only after sucin his and his or herh person shall have served at least one year in the penitentiary. To convict for vehicular homicide and first-degree, the State has the burden of showing beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant, as a consequence of driving recklessly or under the influence of call cause the death of another person. The other driver's condition is also relevant where he or she may have been impaired. This can allow the defendant to raise the defense of lack of causation due to impairment of the other driver. A trial court's ruling excluding such relevant testimony was reversible error. Contact a Paulding County defense criminal defense attorney if you are charged with vehicular homicide.