If you have fled the scene of a vehicular accident (particularly an accident involving injury, death, or damage to property), you may be charged with hit and run. Leaving the scene is considered a criminal offense and criminal charges may be filed against you. If you find yourself involved in an accident, regardless of who was really at fault, do not flee. Move your car to a safe area (especially if it is a busy roadway or intersection) and call the police. Also contact your defense lawyer immediately, since legal representation would be necessary in case the car accident will involve charges.
There are several reasons why hit and run accidents happen. It could be intentionally speeding over the limit, reckless or negligent driving, drunk driving, or driving under the influence of any drug substance. An individual who flees the scene after an accident might be charged with a hit and run. If proven, it is punishable under traffic law.
A hit and run accident may lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge in the courtroom. Misdemeanors often involve property damage to automobiles. Felonies, meanwhile, often involve bodily injury, especially if the victims are in a critical condition or it was a fatal crash. Traffic safety violation charges may be aggravated and classified into first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree felony. The conviction depends on the extent of the serious injury or the severity of vehicular damages.
Punishment may include costly fines, deduction of points in the driving record of the offender, and even jail time. Add to this restitution and medical treatment for the serious injuries of the accident victims, and compensation for the damage of property.
If you have been involved in a vehicular crash or any auto accident, do not flee the scene. Give your information, including your name and address, plate number, and license number. If the motor vehicle accident happened in a parking lot and the owner of the car is not present, leave your information (especially your name, license plate number, and contact numbers) and the details of the accident.
If a traffic accident has become a criminal case, gathering evidence and statements from witnesses is crucial. Hiring an experienced accident attorney will help you win your case. The prosecutor and the jury trial will proceed with case evaluation based on the accident report, testimonies, and evidence that will be submitted to the criminal court. Your accident lawyer will help in defending your rights and avoiding criminal convictions (and imprisonment).
An individual who fled the scene and faced prosecution may eventually have to deal with a hit and run conviction if:
- It was proven that the defendant was involved in the car crash
- It was proven that the injuries or damage to the property as a result of the collision
- It was proven that the defendant was fully aware of the injuries or property damage
- The defendant intentionally fled the scene or failed to stop and provide his or her identification
If you collided or crashed with a pedestrian or another vehicle, fleeing the scene is something you should not do. If you have been charged with a hit and run, even if you have no-fault, contact a defense attorney from a trusted law firm right away. Call us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman for a free consultation.