When something frightening happens, it's normal for that flight or fight response to kick in. However, when that response rears its head after a car accident, the repercussions can be serious.
It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident if the accident resulted in an injury or property damage. Even if nobody was hurt, if anything was damaged, the driver is responsible for stopping their vehicle and making themselves known to all involved parties. While the penalties are drastically higher if someone was injured in a crash, you could still face penalties if you fled the scene, even if nobody was hurt.
Your Responsibilities After an Accident
Following a crash, the driver should stop their vehicle at the scene (in a safe space), and notify the driver or leave contact information if the driver is absent. Failure to stop and provide this information could result in a noncriminal traffic infraction, which is punishable as a nonmoving violation.
What Happens If I Leave the Scene of an Accident that Caused Property Damage?
If you hit a vehicle, (causing damage), and flee the scene before leaving your contact information or confronting the vehicle’s owner, you could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. The repercussions may include up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
Drivers are also responsible for leaving their contact information if they damage buildings or other properties, not just vehicles. The driver should leave their full name, address, and vehicle registration number if they cause any type of property damage.
Hit-and-Runs with Injuries
Fleeing the scene of an accident that resulted in injuries is taken much more seriously, and can result in life-altering consequences. If you leave the scene of an accident involving personal injuries, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if the injuries are severe, the penalties may escalate to second- or third-degree felony charges, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. In addition, these types of charges might result in the revocation of your driver’s license.
If the crash resulted in a fatality and you fled the scene, you might be charged with a first-degree felony. This charge could result in a license revocation for a minimum of 3 years, up to 30 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Let Our Firm Help You
At Attorney Jeffrey S. Grossman’s Ticket & License Center, we’re here to help you regain your footing after a traffic violation. Our team has handled over 250,000 traffic tickets with a 99% success rate (meaning no points or traffic school), and Attorney Grossman has over 16 years of hands-on experience to apply to your case.
Ready to get started? Tell us about your situation during a free consultation and our team can help you take the next step. Call us at (954) 525-4858 or contact us online today.