Georgia law states that drivers involved in a collision must stop or return to the scene of an accident. If the accident involves serious injury, the driver must stop immediately. Failing to do so could constitute a charge known as hit-and-run. As long as no one suffered from serious or fatal injuries, a hit-and-run is typically a misdemeanor charge. Fines for a misdemeanor hit-and-run can run up to $1000 and there is a possibility of up to 12 months in jail. If the accident involves serious injuries or fatalities, the hit-and-run becomes a felony. Currently, the sentence for a felony hit-and-run is one to five years in prison. WSB Radio reports on proposed legislation that would increase that penalty to one to ten years.
The bill, named C.J’.s law, sailed through the Georgia Senate.
The bill failed to pass last year, but the parents of Charlie Jones and Democratic Senator Elena Parent reintroduced the bill this year.
Ten years ago, Charlie Jones was struck and killed by a driver in Cobb County ten years ago. The driver fled the scene and has never been found.
Currently, hit-and-run laws in Georgia call for a penalty of one to five years in prison if the accident involves serious injury or a fatality. C.J.’s law would increase that penalty to one to ten years in prison.
Georgia’s hit-and-run laws have not been updated since 1999.
The bill now heads to the House. Jones’ parents have vowed to continue fighting for the bill.
Each year, they return to the scene of the collision on the anniversary of their son’s death. They continue to hope that the driver will come forward and turn themselves in.
Have you been injured in an accident? We can help. Call today.