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When a person is involved in a “hit and run,” it means the vehicle you’re driving collided with a person or property and left the scene without stopping or contacting authorities. It’s a very serious crime and the penalties can be much worse given other aggravating circumstances.
If you’ve been charged with leaving the scene of an accident or other charges because of a hit and run, then you need to understand the charges against you and hire a lawyer with expertise in these types of cases.
We’ll go over the charges that stem from a “hit and run” so you have the information you need to make educated decisions about your future.
Hit and Run: Property vs. Person
In addition to stopping and contacting the authorities, if there are people injured you must assist them in any way you can. This could mean administering first aid, calling an ambulance or driving them to a hospital.
There is a big difference between the charges stemming from hitting property vs. a person. If you hit property such as a light pole or a car and there are no injuries, then you may only be charged with a misdemeanor.
If you hit a car or a person and there are injuries or death, then you could be charged with felonies.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you could face fines and points on your driving record or mandatory jail time and suspension of driving privileges.
For a free legal consultation, call 215-515-3360
Circumstances Make Charges More Severe
If you were driving impaired by drugs or alcohol then it can make things much worse.
If there is proof you were impaired, then you may face additional charges such as driving under the influence. If there was a death, then you can be charged with homicide by vehicle.
Another factor that impacts sentences and severity of charges is your previous criminal history. If you’ve been convicted of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, felonies, etc. then prosecutors may go after more severe charges.
If you’ve been charged in connection with a hit and run, then you need professional and experienced attorneys.
Criminal and Civil Penalties
In addition to criminal charges associated with a “hit and run,” you also run the risk of civil lawsuits from the victim. Odds are your decision to leave the scene of an accident was a result of poor judgment, but there are lasting consequences.
If there was property damage or injury caused by the crash, then you can be sued in civil court for compensation for property and medical bills. If there was a death, then you may be sued for wrongful death.
Don’t Take Hit and Run Charges Lightly – Seek Legal Assistance Today!
A “hit and run” is a serious crime that can have lasting repercussions on your life. You can find yourself with no license, or spending time in jail. Don’t let a momentary bad decision leave you with a felony conviction and life-long consequences.
If you want to learn more about leaving the scene of an accident charges, and how to defend against them, then contact The Law Offices of M.J. Snyder today at 215-515-3360!