DiCindio Law LLC | July 8, 2020 | Criminal Law
Consequences of a Hit-and-Run Accident in Pennsylvania is our topic for today. If you are involved in an accident in Pennsylvania in which property is damaged or someone is injured or killed, you must exchange information with the other driver and remain at the scene. Should you fail to stay at the scene, you can be criminally charged with a hit-and-run accident even if the accident was not your fault. If you fail to remain at the scene of an accident, you can face stiff penalties, including jail or prison, substantial fines, and the loss of your driving privileges. Leaving the scene of an accident is treated seriously, and you should get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer at DiCindio Law if you are facing this type of charge.
Duty to stay at the scene in an accident involving injuries or fatalities
If you are involved in an accident in which someone is injured or killed, you are required to stay at the scene of the accident. This is true even if someone only suffers minor injuries. The law requires you to park your vehicle somewhere nearby that is safe and to exchange information with the other involved driver, including your address, insurance company, and name. You must also call the police to summon emergency responders.
You must also help anyone who is injured in your accident. If someone is injured and asks for help or obviously needs it, you must provide first aid and call an ambulance. If you fail to remain at the accident scene when someone has been injured or killed and fail to provide help, exchange your information, and call the police, you could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor which is the consequences of a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania. The penalties for failing to remain at the scene of an injury or fatality accident can include a prison sentence, substantial fines, points on your driving record, and a criminal record.
Penalties for a fatal hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, motorists who are involved in accidents that cause injuries or fatalities must stop their vehicles and remain at the scene until help arrives. Even in situations in which no one is injured, drivers must still provide their identifying and contact information and their license and registration to the other drivers. The consequences of a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742(b)(3), leaving the scene of an accident or failing to render assistance is a second-degree felony. If you are convicted of this offense, you will face from one up to 10 years in prions and a fine of up to $25,000.
Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident causing injuries
If you leave the scene of an accident that caused someone to be injured, you are also required to remain at the scene, summon help, and render aid. This includes situations in which someone suffers minor injuries. The penalties that you will face if you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries will depend on whether the injuries are minor or constitute serious bodily injuries.
Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage
If you are involved in an accident that only results in property damage in Pennsylvania, you are still required to stop your vehicle and park it in a safe location near to the accident scene. You should call the police to report the accident. Should the owner of the property not be present, you should try to find them to explain what happened. Even if you cannot find the property owner, you should leave a note where the owner can easily find it that includes information about your accident and how you can be contacted.
If the property owner is present, you are required to give him or her your name, address, insurance information, registration information, and license plate information. If you fail to provide the required information and to stop at the scene, you can face up to 90 days of jail, $200 or more in fines, four points on your driver’s license, and a potential suspension of your driving privileges for up to six months.
Defending against hit-and-run charges
When you are charged with a hit-and-run accident, your lawyer at DiCindio Law will build defenses based on the circumstances of what happened. The prosecutor will be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you left the accident scene. If you remained at the scene, your lawyer will collect evidence to show that you did so.
Some other potential defenses to a hit-and-run accident charge include the following:
- Someone else drove your vehicle away from the accident scene.
- Your vehicle is not the one that was involved in the accident.
- You were involved in a different type of emergency and were on your way to the hospital.
- You did not realize that you struck another object, person, or car.
It can be difficult to fight charges of leaving the scene of an accident. Having help from a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you to build a strong defense to protect your interests. Your attorney at DiCindio Law will thoroughly investigate what happened and analyze the evidence to identify the defense strategies to implement.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious criminal traffic violation. Because of the penalties that you might face, you need to retain an experienced defense lawyer. Contact DiCindio Law today to schedule a consultation by calling us at (610) 430-3535.
***This blog article is made available by the law firm publisher for educational purposes and to provide general information, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the publisher. The above-listed information does not include the entire criminal code, annotations, amendments, or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law, LLC for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.***