If you are behind the wheel and an accident occurs, there are some steps you need to take in order to avoid certain criminal charges for leaving an accident scene.
Accident Scene Involving Injury
When you’re driving and are involved in an accident when you think an injury may have occurred, you are required to do the following:
• Immediately stop at the scene or as close to the scene as possible (try to avoid causing traffic obstructions)
• Remain at the scene until you’ve given information such as your name, address, vehicle registration number, insurance info to anyone else in the accident (including the police). You also need to render appropriate assistance to anyone injured in the accident.
If you’re in an accident and you leave and then realize there was an injury, you need to comply with the above instructions as soon as possible.
If you fail to follow the law and an injury occurred, you may be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and you may also have to pay a fine (which will be at least $750). Not adhering to the law in a situation when serious bodily injury occurs will likely earn you a third degree felony charge and at least a $750 fine.
Accident Scene Involving a Death
The same requirements apply to a driver who is involved in an accident when he thinks someone has died. If you find yourself in these circumstances and you don’t stop, don’t give your information and don’t provide assistance, you’ll probably be charged with a third degree felony and be fined at least $750.
In order to keep yourself out of jail or prison, it’s in your best interest to stop your car any time you’re in an accident. A third degree felony can carry a penalty of up to five years in prison—no one wants to end up incarcerated because they didn’t stop and help at an accident they were part of.
Let a Utah criminal defense attorney help you if you’ve been charged with any crime. It doesn’t matter what you did—or didn’t do. The important thing is to hire a top-notch Utah criminal defense attorney as quickly as you can.