Failure to Stop at a Personal Injury Accident Defense Attorney

Under Michigan law, people accused of failing to stop and identify themselves at accidents face harsh penalties. If there was an injury accident, you could expect that a judge would be inclined to consider jail time.

Failure to Stop at a Personal Injury Accident Defense Attorney

Failure to Stop and Identify is Often Referred to as “Hit and Run.”

When someone fails to stop and identify themselves after a personal injury accident, this is often referred to as a “hit and run” accident. An “accident” can mean (1) running into a person with no other vehicle involved, (2) a collision between cars, or (3) when a vehicle runs into a building or home. Because these offenses carry the possibility of jail time, lengthy and onerous terms of probation, and high fines, it is essential to have the best representation possible when you appear in court. Failure to Stop at a Personal Injury Accident is a serious offense, and you can expect to face a zealous prosecutor and harsh treatment by the court if you do not have a strong defense.

Penalties for Failing to Stop and Identify at a Personal Injury Accident

  • Failure to stop and report damage to vehicles: 90 days in jail and up to 2 years of probation;
  • Failure to stop and report personal injury accident: 1 year in jail and up to 2 years of probation;
  • Failure to stop and report serious personal injury or death accident: 5 years in jail and up to 5 years of probation;
  • Failure to stop and report an accident resulting in death where the person failing to report is at fault: 15 years in jail and up to 2 years of probation.

It is unlikely that minor failure to stop incidents involving only property will result in jail; however, a judge may want to send a strong message to an offender by imposing high fines, costs, restitution, and a lengthy term of probation with a multitude of time-consuming and expensive terms and conditions. Of course, these offenses draw further punishment in the form of points on your driver’s license and a suspension of your driving privileges.

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Defenses to Failure to Report an Accident Can Occur

Michigan law states that anyone involved in an accident must remain at the scene until a police officer arrives or immediately report the incident to the nearest police department or police officer. They must also supply their registration and driver’s license to the police and other persons involved in the accident.

A seasoned and successful defense lawyer will know every possible defense to Failing to Report an Accident charge ( including an injury accident). Perhaps the client wasn’t aware there was a collision? Perhaps there was an emergency? The defendant may have been injured and not thinking clearly. The bottom line is that even if a defense is not obvious, a creative defense attorney can frequently identify a weakness in the prosecutor’s case.

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Misunderstandings can lead to improper criminal charges.

Michigan law requires vehicles in accidents to stay in the exact spot they came to rest, and they are not to be moved if the accident has resulted in personal injury or death. Michigan passed this law to assist police in identifying parties involved in an accident and to help the police accurately assess the scene to determine fault. The exception to this rule is if it would endanger anyone by leaving the vehicles where they are. In fact, accident participants must move their cars to a “safe refuge” off the main travel lanes if they can do so safely. False accusations of leaving the scene of an accident are sometimes made by police even when a driver was only moving their car to avoid a greater danger.

Do people charged with one of these offenses need to retain a criminal defense attorney?

Absolutely. As seen above, even the least serious of these charges will, at the very least, cost thousands of dollars when all is said and done and possibly result in jail or probation. The most severe cases routinely result in years in prison. If the injury was serious or if there was a death, a prosecutor will go full-tilt after the defendant with everything they have. Also, judges will want to make a forceful statement to the public at sentencing.

It is critical that if you face one of these offenses, you hire an astute, reputable, and highly knowledgeable defense attorney. A fearless lawyer can serve as a shield from the wrath of a prosecutor or judge. In cases with public interest, an experienced lawyer can also help you avoid the uncomfortable glare of the media spotlight. These cases are delicate and need the expertise of a top-rated attorney who knows how to stand up and fight to protect you.

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Law Firm Defending Charges of Failure to Stop at a Personal Injury Accident

There are possible defenses to every case, and the best attorneys know how to establish such defenses and perhaps get the charges dismissed and have the case thrown out of court. At the very least, such an attorney will most likely negotiate a resolution to the case that will be satisfactory to the client and save them a great deal of money and potential jail time.

The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Michigan. We have an unparalleled track record for providing outstanding representation and extraordinary results.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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