Accusations that you committed a hit and run offense are very serious and could result in significant criminal penalties. Cases that involve serious bodily injury or death could result in felony charges with years behind bars upon conviction. If you are faced with hit and run charges, no matter the severity of the damage done, it is crucial you properly defend your case with the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
An Edina hit and run lawyer could build a strong defense on your behalf and work to protect your rights. Reach out today to learn more.
Reasons for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
A driver might elect to leave the scene of an accident for many different reasons. Some motorists may be intoxicated and fear being arrested. Others may not have insurance or a driver’s license. There may even have been a warrant for the person’s arrest.
Regardless of a person’s reason for leaving the scene, they will usually face criminal charges. Fortunately, there are legal defenses that could help ease the potential penalties. There are also cases in which an individual is wrongfully accused of fleeing the scene, in which case they could likely pursue a full acquittal. A dedicated Edina attorney could help an individual explore their defense options against hit and run charges.
State Laws Regarding Hit and Runs
Minnesota Statutes § 169.09 requires that drivers of any vehicle stop after having been involved in an accident that results in any type of bodily injury, property damage, or death. Failure to stop is a criminal act that could result in charges against the defendant. When an accident occurs, drivers are required to:
- Stop their vehicle immediately or as soon as safely possible
- Reasonably investigate what was struck
- Remain at the scene of the accident until all information requirements have been fulfilled
- Notify property owners of information if property was damaged
- Provide information such as insurance, name, date of birth, mailing address or email, and registration number of the vehicle
Failure to provide this information or properly comply with the law could result in a criminal charge. Anyone facing charges for fleeing the scene of an accident should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to go over their defense options.
Degrees of Hit and Run Charges in Edina
Regardless of whether a defendant was actually at fault for an accident, leaving the scene could result in gross misdemeanor or felony charges. The level of offense an individual is charged with will depend on the severity of the injuries the other person sustained. In cases where a death occurred, the defendant could face a maximum sentence of up to three years in state prison and a $5,000 fine.
If the accident results only in property damage and the driver fails to stop, they will likely face a misdemeanor level hit and run charge. The penalties for a misdemeanor—while less severe—still constitute a criminal charge and can have a major effect on the defendant’s life moving forward. An experienced attorney could help a defendant avoid the most severe penalties associated with charges for leaving the scene of a wreck.
Contact an Edina Hit and Run Attorney Today
The aftermath of a traffic incident can be highly stressful. This situation can be exacerbated further if you are facing charges for fleeing the scene. You might be facing penalties that affect your way of life and your future.
You deserve to have someone fighting in your corner as you face these charges. An Edina hit and run lawyer could work to protect your rights and freedoms and build a robust defense on your behalf. Contact our office today to get started on your case.