Thousands of people lose their lives in hit-and-run accidents every year. There are laws about having to stay at the scene until police arrive if you are in an accident, regardless of whether the incident is with a motor vehicle or a pedestrian. If you fail to wait for the proper authorities to arrive, then you may be charged with leaving the scene and for a hit-and-run.
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a person who is involved in a car accident leaves the site without stopping to give the other driver their information or waiting for the police to arrive. The maximum penalty can be as much as $1000 and up to one year in jail.
A hit-and-run charge might be escalated to a class D felony if there are special circumstances related to the accident. A class D felony can carry up to four years in prison and a $5000 fine. The reasons that a hit-and-run can be increased to a class D are that there is:
- Injury to someone
- More than $1000 in property damage
- The person charged already has a criminal history of leaving the scene of an accident or a hit-and-run
What does a hit-and-run charge do to your driving record?
If you are issued a ticket by a state trooper in Missouri for leaving the scene of an automobile accident, then you will generally have twelve points added on your record, and your license could be revoked for a year. In addition, you may not be eligible to receive a hardship license, which grants you limited driving abilities.
If the county or municipal officer is the one to issue you a ticket, then you may only have six points added to your record, which means that your hardship license eligibility would not be affected.
Can your license be suspended if you get in a hit-and-run ticket without insurance?
In Missouri, it isn’t just your license that can be suspended; if you aren’t the owner of the car, the vehicle owner might have their license taken as well. If you are charged with hit-and-run and don't have insurance at the time the accident occurred, the owner of the car can also suffer the consequences. If you choose to leave the scene of the accident without making arrangements for paying for the damage to the other vehicle, and you have no insurance, there may be consequences for anyone driving or owning the car.
What are your options if you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident?
If you have been involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver, you are entitled to compensation for your loses. Speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney to learn more about what your legal options are. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.