Hit and Run: Defined
A hit and fun is defined as being involved in a car accident (either with a vehicle, pedestrian, or a nonmoving structure) then leaving the scene of the crash without stopping to leave information or give anyone help that might need it. A handful of states also considers hitting an animal and leaving as a form of “hit and run.” When it comes to hit and runs, for the most part, it does not matter if it was an accident or not. By leaving the scene, you are committing the act of running. However, it certain circumstances it may not be considered a hit and run if you leave the accident to get emergency assistance, get cell phone reception to call for help and then promptly go back.
The location of the hit and run is also not important, in regards to whether you are on a public road or a highway. In some cases, you do not need to be on a road at all for it to be a hit and run, for instance if you hit someone in a parking lot and leave the scene without giving your information. For most states, if you fail to leave contact information for the car owner to contact you, then it would be treated as a hit and run.
Penalties of Hit and Runs
For a hit and run each state differs on how it is classified, most states count it as a criminal act that will be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. A hit and run will be increased to a felony if the perpetrator leaves the scene of an injured person, whether they were in a vehicle or a pedestrian. States have imposed fines between $5,000 and $20,000 with a high chance of incarceration for felony hit and run. Some perpetrators have gotten upwards of 15 years in prison. A misdemeanor, on the other hand, can include a $5,000 fine and a year of jail time.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a hit and run accident, contact Rob Levine & Associates to be your trusted car accident attorney today!