Every driver knows that they must follow certain rules when driving on the road. If you want to operate a motor vehicle, you must:
Many people neglect these rules or obligations, cutting corners when they can. If you forgot your license at home, you may decide to keep driving instead of turning around. Other drivers may choose to go over the speed limit in areas they know police officers don't patrol. In some cases, ignoring these obligations can lead to serious consequences.
Virginia state law has specific regulations on accidents, including the conduct of both drivers. They are both required to pull over as soon as possible and exchange information with each other. If one driver has been killed or severely injured, the other driver must report it right away, offering assistance to the other person.
If one driver flees the scene of the accident without exchanging information or checking up on the injured person, they have violated §46.2-941 through §46.2-897 of Virginia's hit and run laws. Both of these laws state that each driver must attend to the other, ensuring that they are safe or out of harm's way. They must also exchange information and report the accident as soon as possible. Depending on whether a party is injured, or the amount of damage to property, you may be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident. If you are facing charges for a hit and run, talk with a Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyer right away.
If you are involved in an accident, yet fail to report it or check on the other driver, you may be charged with a hit and run. If the other person wasn't injured but there was damage to their property, you would still be responsible for exchanging information, such as insurance and phone numbers. If no one was injured and minimal property damage was incurred, you may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a hit and run misdemeanor, you may also have to pay fines and spend up to one year in jail.
In cases where the other individual was seriously injured, you may be charged with a Class 5 felony. This type of felony conviction may include a maximum of 10 years in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. If the other person was killed, it may result in a Class 1 felony conviction. Punishment may include imprisonment for life and up to $100,000 in fines.
Regardless of the type of charges you are facing for your hit and run accident, McCormack & McCormack is prepared to help. With more than four decades of combined experience, we will work hard to ensure that you receive the best results possible. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation. You can also fill out a case evaluation form online.