Three Types of Hit and Run Accidents
When our minds react to stress, so do our bodies. Our fight or flight response determines how we handle stressful or threatening situations. Do we stay, or do we go?
In the face of an unexpected car accident, some people might make the rash decision to flee the scene.
Not only is this dangerous, but can lead to serious criminal penalties.
What Is A Hit and Run Accident?
A hit and run occurs when a driver is involved in a car accident, then leaves the scene before calling the police, filing an accident report, exchanging insurance information, etc.
What you may not know about hit and run accidents is that even if you did not cause the accident, leaving the scene can result in criminal charges. In other words, it is both parties’ responsibility to stay at the scene of the accident until it is handled.
Accident Causing Property Damage
Two cars don’t need to be involved for a hit and run accident to occur. If you drive into and damage someone’s property, you can be charged with a hit and run offense if you do not report the accident.
A hit and run collision causing property damage is punished as a second-degree misdemeanor.
This can result in:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- A $500 fine
Penalties increase significantly when there are other people involved in the accident.
Accident Causing Injury
If someone is injured at the scene of an accident and you leave, you could face felony charges.
Not only are you required to stay and report the accident, but you are also required to get the injured person medical assistance.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury is a third-degree felony. This is punishable by:
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Accident Causing Death
If you are involved in an auto accident resulting in someone’s death and you flee the scene, this is a first-degree felony.
You could face:
- Up to 30 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Stay At The Scene
Stay at the scene of the accident until the police have arrived. Fight any intuition that tells you to leave. It may feel like the better choice at the moment, but there will be future repercussions for abandoning the scene. You could face extremely severe, life-altering consequences.
Hit and Run Defense
If you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident, you will need a strong legal team to defend you. Call Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today at (305) 330-1360 to discuss your case with our Miami criminal defense attorneys.