Early Saturday morning, an Atlanta law enforcement officer was hit by a
driver while attempting to direct the vehicle into a parking lot. Shortly
after 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, the officer witnessed a silver Volkswagen
hitting a parked truck. After approaching the vehicle, the officer asked
the driver if he had hit the vehicle. The man behind the wheel denied
any wrongdoing, but as the officer stepped in front the Volkswagen to
direct it into a nearby parking lot, the driver sped off, striking the
officer with the hood of his car and knocking him to the ground.
A radio alert was made shortly after the incident and a Georgia State Patrol
officer later pulled the vehicle over at Briarcliff Rd. and Johnson Rd.
The driver of the Volkswagen was taken into custody and transported to
Fulton County Jail. He was charged with
driving under the influence (DUI), Aggravated Assault, and obstruction. The officer who was hit was
examined by Grady emergency personnel and suffered only minor soreness.
While a prime example of good luck for the law enforcement officer who
could have been seriously injured during the incident, this case also
illustrates just how quickly DUI charges can escalate when aggravating
circumstances are involved. First, any DUI conviction will subject a person
to harsh criminal penalties, including possible terms of imprisonment
and large fines. These penalties may also be heightened when an individual
has prior DUI convictions on their record. Aside from this fact, there
are a number of situations that can result in heightened or multiple charges
in relation to the underlying DUI.
As was the case in this incident, the driver of the Volkswagen was involved
in an accident that hurt another person. Fortunately for the officer,
these injuries were minor. Still, being involved in an accident and causing
injury to another is grounds for heightened charges. When an alleged drunk
driver causes substantial bodily harm to another, for instance, they can
be charged with vehicular assault – a Class B felony punishable
by up to $20,000 in fines, up to 10 years in prison, or both. In this
particular case, the man was charged with aggravated assault because the
victim was a peace office. As such, he faces a minimum of five years imprisonment
with a maximum sentence of 20 years.
When aggravating circumstances and additional charges are involved in one
DUI incident, the stakes are elevated. At the Law Offices of Howard J.
Weintraub, our Atlanta DUI attorneys know full well that in these serious
cases, our clients' lives and futures may very well be on the line.
By providing our experienced representation, step by step guidance through
the legal process, and our unyielding commitment, we stand tall on behalf
of our clients and fight aggressively to protect them against harsh penalties.
If you or someone you care about faces heightened DUI allegations, do
not hesitate to contact our firm today.