More commonly referred to as a hit and run, Leaving the Scene of an Accident is actually much more common than most people realize. Unfortunately, the criminal consequences are much more serious that you may realize. You could be facing jail, fines, license suspension, and points assessed on your driving record, which could raise insurance rates. There are three types of Leaving the Scene of an Accident charges.
If you crash unattended property, it is your duty to, first, try to find the owner of the property in the area. If you cannot find the owner, you must leave a visible note detailing pertinent information: your name, address, and registration information. You must also call the police. Failure to comply with the above may result in a misdemeanor of the second-degree, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and $500 fine.
If you hit attended property, such as an occupied vehicle, it is your duty to remain on scene until police arrive, and provide pertinent information: name, address, registration number, and exchange driver's licenses. Failure to do so, can result in being charged criminally with a second-degree misdemeanor, same as above.
If you are involved in a crash, and someone is injured, you have the duty to remain on scene until police arrive, and provide pertinent information: name, address, registration number, and exchange driver's licenses. Failure to do so, can result in being charged with a third-degree felony which is punishable by up to 5 years and $5000 fine.
If a person dies as a result of a crash, and you fail to remain on scene, you may be charged with a first-degree felony which is punishable by up to 30 years and a $10,000 fine. Your duties to remain on scene are the same above: you have the duty to remain on scene until police arrive, and provide pertinent information: name, address, registration number, and provide your driver's license.
It is a normal reaction to be scared and nervous about the consequences. In a split-second reaction, some individuals may choose to flee rather than deal with police finding out about a suspended license, possibly driving under the influence, or higher insurance rates. It is important to be aware of what your duties are and know that you may be charged criminally. If you had fled the scene of an accident and wish to turn yourself in or feel that police may find you, or have already been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, contact us to help minimize the consequences as soon as possible.