On May 26, police officers in Forsyth arrived at a gruesome scene. The body of 27-year-old Jose D. Ramirez Labra was found after an apparent hit-and-run. The driver had left the scene, abandoning his damaged motorcycle along the side of the road.
According to reports, police were eventually able to track down the owner of the motorcycle, who then led them to the driver, 36-year-old David Castleberry. Based on this information, police obtained warrants for hit-and-run, second-degree homicide by vehicle, removing or affixing a license plate, not having insurance, and habitual violator. Castleberry had previously been convicted of DUI, theft, and fleeing police, requiring him to serve multiple years in prison since 2004.
With the assistance of U.S. Marshalls, officers were able to locate Castleberry five days after the accident. He allegedly attempted to flee again before he was briefly detained by a K-9.
Hit and Run in Forsyth County is often accompanied by DUI charges, and in today's post I will outline some advice.
A Forsyth County DUI Lawyer's Advice
As a Forsyth County DUI Lawyer, I have defended hit-and-run cases throughout Georgia and know that it is one of Georgia's most serious offenses. A charge of hit-and-run specifically refers to striking another occupied vehicle and then leaving the scene. Hit-and-run, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to report an accident, and striking a fixed object are all similar offenses. These grave offenses are treated as such and can have even harsher penalties than a DUI charge. For example, a driver charged with their first DUI in Forsyth County may get a limited permit to drive to school or work. On the contrary, a driver convicted of hit-and-run often cannot even obtain a restricted permit and will face at least four-months of license suspension. If convicted for both DUI and hit-and-run, you will not qualify for any driver's license.
Additionally, if you are convicted of an offense that carries its own suspension along with the hit-and-run charge or you have prior offenses, you may be facing what is called a "hard suspension" of your license. This means that you will have no license or permit whatsoever. Along with these severe penalties, a hit-and-run conviction may also have devastating effects on your insurance.
Though the reality of a hit-and-run charge is very serious, there may still be hope. Pursuant to plea negotiations, our office has successfully achieved reductions of the charge to less serious offenses many times. Getting the charge of leaving the scene of an accident dropped or reduced is the difference between having your license and having your license suspended.
Sometimes a police officer perceives an accident as a hit-and-run when it is actually just failing to report striking a fixed object. By asserting that a hit-and-run was justified by asserting that the accused was simply trying to defend themselves or get out of harm's way, our lawyers have had great success defending these cases.
No one knows better the seriousness of a hit-and-run than a former Georgia Prosecutor trained by the same people that are prosecuting the case against you. As a Forsyth County DUI Attorney, I can use my experience to fight for you. If you are facing hit-and-run or DUI in Forsyth County, call our office today.