When you get involved in a car accident, the law requires that you stay at the scene of the crime until a law enforcer arrives or you have exchanged information with the other driver. Under the law, when an accident involves an injured person, a minimum requirement is to call for emergency assistance. You are also required to alert law enforcers about the accident. If you fail to do these requirements, then you could e charged with hit-and-run.
Running away from your responsibility in a car accident is a misdemeanor offense. However, Tennessee car accident lawyers at Pohl & Berk, LLP will tell you that hit and run can have serious consequences especially if an injured person is inserted into the equation. Hit and run is a misdemeanor offense. However, depending on the consequences, it can also become a felony. The difference between the two depends on whether an injured person becomes involved.
Hit and run is a misdemeanor if the accident only results to property damage. Under Vehicle Code Section 2002, misdemeanor hit and run has the following elements:
- You ran away from the scene of the crime when the other driver is at-fault
- Your car hits and damages another person’s property
- You may be at-fault even though your car did not crash into another
Hit and run is elevated to felony if you leave the scene of the accident with an injured person. Whether it’s the driver, passenger, or pedestrian, the accompanying punishment can be more severe. The fines may vary depending on the state, but it will always include jail time aside from the penalty. The most severe consequence of hit and run is you will be treated like a fugitive. The police will locate you and a warrant of arrest will likely be issued against you.
With hit and run, you have both a civil and criminal offense. Usually, the civil case will first be put on hold while the criminal case is being tried.Read More