Hit and run is a serious offense and can lead to severe consequences. Under Arizona hit and run law, leaving the scene of an accident can be broken down into two main categories:
If you have been involved in leaving the scene of an accident, it is important that you understand the law and potential consequences before speaking to anyone besides an experienced hit and run attorney about the accident.
The least severe of the two types of hit and run cases are those that involve an accident but where no one sustained injuries as a result of the accident. This is not to say that a non-injury related offenses can’t have serious consequences, but rather that the consequences of this type of crime are normally less severe than when an injury or death occurs. Hit and run Arizona law separates non-injury related accident into three separate categories:
A violation of leaving the scene pursuant to ARS 28 662, is a class 2 misdemeanor. The attended vehicle hit and run penalty may include:
If you hit a car and no one is in the other vehicle, and the owner or operator does not appear to be in the area, there are still things you are legally required to do.
Pursuant to ARS 28 664, leaving the scene of an accident with an attended vehicle but with no injuries is a class 3 misdemeanor. The hit and run penalty may include:
If you are in an accident resulting in only damage to property such as hitting a fence or mailbox, ARS 28 665 requires that you must:
A violation of leaving the scene pursuant to ARS 28 665 in which only damage to personal property has occurred is a class 3 misdemeanor. The hit and run penalty may include:
When an injury or death is involved in a hit and run accident, the stakes are understandably much higher. Law enforcement tends to investigate these types of leaving the scene of an accident cases more seriously than when the violation only involves damage to property. Hit and run Arizona law separates injury related accidents into two separate categories:
If the accident results in a minor physical injury, then in addition to the requirements of stopping and providing information to the other driver, you must render reasonable assistance to the injured person. This may include arranging for that person to be transported to a doctor or a medical facility for treatment.
A violation of leaving the scene of an accident pursuant to ARS 28 661 is a class 5 felony. The hit and run penalty may include:
Where the accident has caused a serious physical injury or the death of someone involved, you must immediately stop at the scene of the accident and
A violation of leaving the scene pursuant to ARS 28 661 in which you are found to be at fault for the accident is a is a class 2 felony. The hit and run penalty may include:
A violation of leaving the scene pursuant to ARS 28 661 in which you are found not to be at fault for the accident is a is a class 3 felony. The hit and run penalty may include:
When it comes to hit and run, the things you do immediately after the accident can help you avoid being charged and better your chances of a positive outcome, if you are charged. Swift decision making and thoughtful consideration of representation is imperative.
In order to know what to do in a hit and run accident you should first know what police do in a hit and run. Generally speaking, police will attempt to locate you collecting witness statements, reviewing nearby security footage and by patrolling the area around the accident for a broken down car or evidence of an accident. More often than not, police will respond to the address associated with the registration of the vehicle involved in the accident. If, however, a suspect gives the other driver partial information before leaving the scene or a witness happens to know the identity of the suspect, police will often use motor vehicle records to locate a last known address.
The bottom line is that police will be looking for you and will be requesting that you speak to them about the incident. As such, you MUST contact a knowledgeable hit and run lawyer prior to speaking to police. Most criminal defense attorneys, including the lawyers at Feldman & Royle, provide a free consultation to help you understand your rights. For helpful tips on hiring a lawyer, click here.
The fact that an officer or other witness says you did not stop immediately, or you did not take all the steps required after an accident, does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. The following examples will demonstrate how you may be able to challenge this type of evidence:
These are just a couple of examples of possible defenses. Because this is a serious charge, it pays to have the right lawyer on your side.
A charge of leaving the scene of an accident could be a felony and you could be looking at serious jail time. Even a misdemeanor violation could in some cases lead to jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, increased insurance premiums and employment consequences. The possible penalties for a leaving the scene of an accident conviction make it essential that you get legal help. Each of the lawyers at Feldman & Royle, is an experienced hit and run attorney and can defend your rights. Call us for a free consultation.
The length of time the State has to file hit and run charges depends on type of offense. If the offense involved only property and no one was injured, then the offense is likely a misdemeanor and the State has one (1) year to charge you with a crime. If, however, an injury was sustained, then the offense could be a felony and the State would have seven (7) years to charge you with leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Arizona. How police handle the situation varies from police agency to police agency and based on the extent of damage or harm caused by the accident. That said, rest assured police take hit and run seriously and will normally be looking to track down a suspect regardless of how minor the accident.
The hit and run penalty ranges depending on the damage or injury that occurred as a result of the accident. In instances of misdemeanor hit and run that only involves damage to property, penalties mean a conviction on your record, a fine, a possible license suspension and possible jail time. If, however, the accident involved an injury or death, then prison or prison time is quite common and lengthy license suspensions are mandatory.
The length of a police investigation for leaving the scene of an accident depends on a number of factors. While some simple leaving the scene of an accident investigations are open and shut others can span weeks or months as police track down witnesses, surveillance cameras and cell phone tower information on suspects.
Police normally locate a hit and run suspect by tracking the registration of the vehicle in the accident back to a physical address. It is not uncommon to have police immediately leave the scene of an accident and go directly to the registrant’s home in hopes of locating and speaking to the register owner of the vehicle. In other instances, patrol officers will generate investigative leads and a detective will follow up in the days or weeks after the accident.
If you have been involved in leaving the scene of an accident, law enforcement is interested in speaking to you. How police find hit and run drivers can depend on many factors. Most commonly, if witnesses or surveillance cameras in the area obtain your license plate number, police will often track the registered owner of the vehicle to their home or call the phone number associated with the registration. Many times, a police officer or a detective will knock on your door and leave a business card on your door if you don’t answer. In some instances, police can go to your place of business or even obtain an arrest warrant to have you arrested while in public, at home or at work.
Absolutely. Even a hit and run with minor damage is a crime in Arizona and police will normally be looking to locate and speak to anyone involved.
It is of the utmost importance to remember that you are not obligated to speak to police. The important thing to remember is that by speaking to an attorney, the attorney can normally speak to the police on your behalf. Without an experienced hit and run attorney, your statements may lead to criminal charges for leaving the scene as well as additional charges for crimes such as DUI, reckless driving, and vehicular homicide in certain cases. The safest thing to do if you have left the scene of an accident is to contact an experienced hit and run attorney.
Hit and run is the common name for the crime of leaving the scene of an accident in Arizona. These offenses can be be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending of the nature of the accident.
The hit and run penalty depends on the extent of injuries, if any, or the type of accident you were involved in, if it there was not an injury. Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident that involves only minor damage to property can be as minimal as a small fine where hit and run from an accident involving death can carry a lengthy prison sentence.