Leaving the scene of an accident can ultimately have serious consequences if procedures are not followed as they should be immediately following the accident. If you have been involved in a hit and run, it is a wise idea to know how to best fight the criminal charges filed against you. Since the normal protocol following a vehicle accident is to seek medical help to anyone who may need it and to file a police report, the charges filed against you may be severe.
Criminal Penalties For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
In most states, a hit and run is either considered a felony or a misdemeanor. If any person is sustaining an injury when you leave the scene of an accident, it is considered a felony. The consequences of a hit and run can be quite significant. The typical fine of this type of felony ranges from $5,000-$20,000. In some states, the penalty for leaving the accident is much more severe. Some states will incarcerate you and jail time could potentially be up to 15 years. If your case is classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony, you can still expect to pay up to $5,000 for your actions and jail time is punishable for up to one year.
Contact A Lawyer
Once charges have been filed against you, you will want to contact a lawyer who can help you with your case. Your lawyer may be able to mix some uncertainty into your case that will ultimately make your case stronger. A lawyer that can present circumstantial arguments for your case may persuade the judge to dismiss your case altogether. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to reimburse your victim in exchange to have your charges dismissed.
Meeting The Victim In Court
When you leave the scene of an accident, it is very possible that the victim will sue you for the damages caused to their vehicle and any medical expenses they had to pay as result of the accident. If you are the one that caused the accident and you left the scene, charges against you will be increased significantly.
A hit and run is a serious offense. If you have found yourself in a position where you have been charged with this offense, consulting with a lawyer is your best option. Fighting these charges will not be easy but it is well worth it.