A car accident is really good at two things, causing damage and initiating your fight or flight instinct. While your instinct may be to flee the scene if you think you’ve done something wrong, you could be looking at some serious consequences if you do not get help from a defense attorney.
What Is a Hit and Run?
If you are in a car accident and fail to stop and identify yourself or render aid, you could be charged with hit and run. Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are at fault for the accident. To constitute a hit and run, you only have to flee the scene of the accident.
In addition, the accident does not necessarily have to have occurred on the road. Accidents in a parking lot, for example, may also count as hit and runs. Common examples of this are drivers who back into parked cars and leave without finding the owner of the other car or leaving contact information behind.
Leaving the scene temporarily for emergency reasons does not usually count as hit and run. For example, if you leave the scene to find a nearby phone to call help and return afterwards, most courts will not see that as hit and run.
What Are the Consequences of a Hit and Run?
There are some very serious penalties that come with being convicted of a hit and run. In many states, convicted hit and run drivers could be looking at fines between $5,000 and $20,000, and up to 15 years in prison.
There are also civil and administrative penalties to consider. If you are at fault for the accident, the other driver may sue you for damages. A conviction for hit and run will no doubt strengthen their case considerably.
Your driver’s license is also likely to be suspended or revoked for six months or longer. In more severe cases, your license could be permanently revoked.
Many insurance companies also have policies that allow them to immediately terminate your insurance if you are convicted of hit and run.
In conclusion, there are a great many consequences that you could be looking at if convicted of hit and run. In order to build a suitable defense, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
For a free consultation, call or fill out an online form today. The Lewisville criminal defense lawyers at Julian, Crowder & Shuster have experience defending drivers accused of hit and run and may be able to help you.