Ogilvie v. State, A11A0862, November 4th, 2011: Shirley Ogilvie appeals from her conviction for vehicular homicide in the second degree and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk in DeKalb County State Court. She alleged that the accusation was fatally defective because it did not set out the elements of the offense and for the trial court refusing to give a jury charge on accident in a strict liability offense. The Court of Appeals found that the elements were set out in the accusation. The Court of Appeals found that a charge on the accident was available in a strict liability offense. OCGA § 16-2-2 provides: “a person shall not be found guilty of any crime committed by misfortune or accident where it satisfactorily appears there was no criminal scheme or undertaking, intention, or criminal negligence.”
“Accident is an affirmative defense whereby it must be established a defendant acted without criminal intent, was not engaged in a criminal scheme, and was not criminally negligent, i.e., did not act in a manner showing an utter disregard for the safety of others who might reasonably be expected to be injured thereby.”
A strict liability offense by its very nature lacks any intent to commit a crime. Because there was some evidence that there was no intent and Defendant admitted that she failed to yield to a pedestrian the charge was required.