A hit-and-run is an accident where the driver leaves the scene of an incident without making contact with the person they hit. This may be a pedestrian or a car. It can also include a collision with an animal or a fixed object. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, it can be a felony or a misdemeanor. The severity of the consequences can vary greatly, depending on the type of injury or damage to property involved.
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If the injuries are minor, the penalties are generally fine. However, if the accident resulted in an injury that is considered serious, a conviction is a felony. In addition to a fine, the driver is subject to a license suspension. Also, in many cases, a person’s auto insurance policy will be canceled.
If a driver leaves the scene of an accident while causing a bodily injury, the victim can file a civil lawsuit against the driver. In most states, the plaintiff must prove elements of intentional misconduct, such as a driver’s failure to stop at the scene of a crash. In addition, the defendant may have to pay non-economic damages. These include pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of use of a body part. Some states have a statute of limitations that varies by the severity of the crime.
Leaving the scene of an accident that causes substantial damage to another vehicle, such as a bus or a tractor-trailer, is a felony. This is especially true if the underlying accident is the result of a drunk driving accident. Moreover, if the damage is not covered by insurance, the driver may face punitive damages. For this reason, a skilled criminal defense attorney is recommended. Often, a free consultation is offered to clients.
A felony is usually only filed against a driver who had actual knowledge of an accident. Depending on the facts of the case, the defendant’s license may be suspended, his or her driver’s license could be revoked, and he or she might have to serve time in jail. An individual who has been charged with a felony hit and run should seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Hit and run is an offense in every state. Although the exact penalties can vary, most states impose administrative penalties in addition to criminal penalties. Most often, this will be imposed through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Depending on the extent of the accident, the defendant may have to pay a fine, a restitution payment, or both.
A driver can be guilty of a hit and run if he or she leaves the scene of an accident while failing to identify themselves or provide help to injured victims. Usually, the defendant is required to provide assistance to the injured person and request medical help. Regardless of the nature of the injury, the injured party must receive proper medical treatment.
Felony hit and run is a very serious offense. Convictions are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and can lead to severe fines. Those who have been charged with a felony hit-and-run should seek representation from a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.