Penalties and Defenses for Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in an injury, death, or property damage greater than $1,000, the law requires that you immediately report the accident to the police.
Defending Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident Charges
Michigan law requires a driver to immediately report an accident resulting in an injury, death, or significant property damage. There are various reasons why a person may not report an accident immediately. If there is a good reason, you may have a defense. If you face charges for Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident or Hit and Run, it is important that you take measures to seek dismissal of the charges if possible.
Everyone with a driver’s license is presumed to know all the laws regarding driving on our roads. Of course, that isn’t always the case. Ignorance of the law is no defense. Most people are happy to follow the rules if they know them. Failure to follow the reporting requirements under Michigan law can result in serious criminal charges.
Requirements After a Personal Injury Accident
You must immediately stop your car and exchange information if you get into an accident. The information you are required to exchange is your name, address, and vehicle registration to the other driver or the police when they arrive. You must also show your driver’s license to the other driver upon request.
You are also required to notify the police immediately or as soon as possible if assisting injured people delays the immediate notification.
If the accident resulted in an injury, you are supposed to reasonably assist in securing medical aid or, if necessary, transportation to a hospital. However, you should not render aid if doing so may cause further injury. If there is a serious injury or a death, police investigators will not want the vehicles moved unless leaving a car in place is a hazard. Immediately after moving the vehicle, the driver must report the accident to the police. Failing to move a vehicle that is a hazard is a civil infraction.
Penalty for Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident and Related Offenses
Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and not reporting it to the police as soon as possible is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, up to 2 years of probation, a $1,000 fine, and 6 points on your driving record. You could be charged with any of the following, depending on the particular circumstances:
- Failure to Exchange Information – After an accident, you must provide the other driver and the police with your identifying information, driver’s license, and vehicle registration information. Failure to exchange this information is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, up to 2 years on probation, a $1,000.00 fine, and 6 points on your driver’s license.
- Failure to Stop at the Scene and Notify the Police Where There Has Been a Serious Injury – If you fail to stop and then notify the police as soon as reasonably possible and someone in the accident has suffered a serious injury, the penalty is up to five (5) years in jail, five (5) years of probation, and a $5,000.00 fine.
- Failure to Stop at the Scene and Notify the Police Where There Has Been a Death – If you fail to stop and notify the police and a person has died as a result of the accident, the penalty is 15 years in jail, five(5) years of probation, and a $10,000.00 fine.
If a police officer pulls you over in the future and you have a criminal conviction for “leaving the scene of an accident” or any other offense, it is less likely the officer will cut you any breaks.
Defending the Charge of Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident
Because these traffic misdemeanor laws and offenses, including Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident, are complicated and may contain potential contradictions, a creative and astute criminal defense lawyer might be able to construct a legitimate defense and potentially get the charges dismissed.
A personal injury accident can be shocking, traumatic, and disorienting. People do not act perfectly or think clearly when in shock or potentially injured. An experienced defense lawyer can make a strong and equitable argument for a lenient plea bargain and sentence under these circumstances.
Although the goal of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is always to get charges dismissed and have a case thrown out of court, there are times when the evidence is overwhelming, and a negotiated plea is advisable. No matter the circumstances, we can always find a way to help a client and make things better.
Elite Defense Attorneys for Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident and All Serious Traffic Accident Charges
The Defense Team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending all misdemeanor and felony cases, including traffic crimes. Whether your case is in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, or Washtenaw County, or anywhere else in Michigan, our team can ensure you have the best chance of beating a charge or resolving it to your satisfaction. Our attorneys have an unparalleled track record of achieving outstanding results. Give us a call, and we will explain how we can help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.