If you have been involved in a car accident and you flee the scene, you could be setting yourself up for even more severe charges. Fleeing the scene of an accident can lead to criminal charges in Arizona, especially if you try to avoid coming forward about the situation. Here’s what to do if you left the scene of an accident, but make sure to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Basics of Hit and Runs

This term refers to situations where a driver is involved in an accident with a fixed object, another car, or a pedestrian. In these cases, the driver will leave the scene of the accident without identifying himself or herself or offering aid to any of the others involved in the accident.

Leaving the scene is a problem even if the person in question did not cause the accident. Many states, however, do allow a driver to temporarily leave the scene to get assistance with the crash, but if you leave and don’t return you could end up facing charges. Even if you were innocent, fleeing the scene can cause others to question whether you were at fault.

If you fled an accident scene and are scared to come forward, discuss the situation with a criminal defense attorney. Your reasons for leaving the scene could impact whether or not you will be charged, but it’s in your best interests to get legal advice right away.

Hit and Run Regulations in Arizona

In Arizona, you’re legally obligated to stop if you were involved in an accident. If you choose to leave the scene and never return for any reason, you could be facing hit and run charges. Under Arizona Revised Statutes 28-663, you must provide your name, address, and registration details to the other driver or responding police officer. If requested, you are also required to show your driver’s license or offer assistance to the other involved party if he or she has suffered injuries.

Is This a Felony Charge?

Whether you’ll be charged with a felony or not depends on the accident circumstances, but there are some specifics that apply. If the crash caused physical harm or death, the individual fleeing the scene could be facing class 2 felony charges. If you did not cause the accident but left the scene, you could be accused of a class 3 felony. A class 5 felony can be charged if the accident resulted in serious harm or injury. If you failed to offer assistance or information after an accident with only minor damage or injuries, this is most likely a misdemeanor charge.

What to Do If You Left the Scene

Even if you’re looking at misdemeanor charges, you could be facing fines and jail time. In addition, leaving the scene can greatly impact your privileged to drive.  Discuss what happened at the accident with an experienced criminal defense attorney so that you can be prepared for a hit and run charge. Don’t hesitate to get help.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney  Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.