When you’re involved in a car accident, you’re legally bound to do certain actions under Michigan law. Failure to do this by leaving the scene of the accident can result in criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a “hit and run,” is an incredibly serious traffic crime whose penalties can have a lasting impact. If convicted of the crime, you could face a term of imprisonment in jail and expensive fines that you must pay out-of-pocket.
If you’re convicted of leaving the scene you can expect your insurance rates to skyrocket. Not only that, but your conviction could be used as pivotal evidence if you’re sued in civil court by the victim for damages. For these reasons, it’s crucial you have legal representation ready if you’ve been charged with leaving the scene of an accident. An experienced and skilled attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding your case and develop a defense, so you avoid the statutory penalties.
Hit and Run Defense Attorney in Oakland County, Michigan
If you made the mistake of leaving the scene of an accident, consult J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. today. Our legal team have defended many people from traffic crimes including OWI, OWVI, racing, or leaving the scene of an accident. We have a proven track record of obtaining successful case outcomes for our clients and will work diligently to achieve the same result for you.
Don’t wait another moment to start protecting your rights and liberty. Get in contact with the legal team at Dallo Law, P.C. by calling (248) 283-7000 for a free consultation. Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Rochester Hills, Madison Heights, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Ferndale, Birmingham, Pontiac, Troy, Warren, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, Utica, Mount Clemens and Eastpointe.
- Driver’s Duties After a Car Accident in MI
- Hit and Run Penalties Under MI Law
- Hit and Run Involving Injury or Death
- Additional Resources
Driver’s Duties After a Car Accident in Michigan
What happens if you are accused of leaving the scene of a traffic accident? Leaving the scene of a traffic crash is sometimes called “hit and run.”
After a crash, Michigan law imposes harsh penalties for leaving the scene under any of the following charges:
- Failing to Give Information and Aid at the Scene of an Accident
- Failing to Report Accident Involving Death, Personal Injury
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Damage to Fixtures That Are Upon or Adjacent to a Highway
- Leaving the Scene of or Failing to Report an Accident Resulting in Personal Injury
- Leaving the Scene of or Failing to Report an Accident Resulting in Vehicle Damage Only
- Leaving the Scene of or Failing to Report an Accident with an Attended or Unattended Vehicle
- Property Garage or Repair Shop Failing to Report Evidence of Accident or Bullet
The purpose of creating statutory duties for the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash, listed in MCL 257.619, was to “curb hit-and-run accidents and encourage drivers involved in accidents to assume responsibility for identifying themselves and offering assistance, thus promoting public safety.” People v Sartor, 235 Mich App 614, 623 (1999).
Under Michigan law, if the driver of a vehicle knows or who has reason to believe that he or she was involved in traffic accident, then the driver has the duty to stop the vehicle and remain at the scene long enough to:
- Give his or her name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is operating, including the name and address of the owner, to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided;
- Exhibit his or her license to a police officer, any individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided; and
- Render to any individual injured in the accident reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or arrange for or provide transportation to any injured individual.
The misdemeanor version of leaving the scene of an accident is tied to the felony hit-and-run offense found in MCL 257.617, when anyone is injured or killed in the crash.
Hit and Run Penalties Under Michigan Law
Under MCL 257.901(2), the penalties for failing to give information and aid at the scene of an accident include:
- Imprisonment for not more than 90 days; or
- Fine of not more than $100
Under Michigan law, the penalties are enhanced to a felony if the accident results in serious impairment of a body function or death.
Hit and Run Penalties Involving Injury or Death
If a driver violates MCL 257.617(1) and the accident results in serious impairment of a body function or death, the law provides for the following penalties:
- Imprisonment for not more than 5 years; and/or
- A fine of not more than $5,000;
If, after an accident caused by the defendant, the defendant driver leaves the scene and the accident results in another individual’s death, the law provides for the following penalties:
- Imprisonment for not more than 15 years; and/or
- A fine of not more than $10,000.
Additionally, six points will be added to the driving record as explained in MCL 257.320a(1)(d). For two consecutive years, a $1,000.00 driver responsibility fee must be paid as well.
For a period of at least one year, a driver license revocation will be imposed as explained in MCL 257.303(2)(d) and MCL 257.303(4)(a)(i)-(ii).
A driver license revocation and denial might also occur when a defendant has any combination of two or more convictions within seven years for violation of MCL 257.617 and any of the motor vehicle felonies listed at MCL 257.303(2)(b).
Michigan Hit and Run Laws – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to read up on their duties for drivers after an accident to either public or private property. Access the site to learn more about those duties, penalties for leaving the scene and other relevant information.
Jury Instructions for Leaving the Scene – Visit the official website for the Michigan Courts to download their Michigan Model Jury Instructions. Search the document to learn what the jury considers when they are sitting and hearing a leaving the scene case.
Defense Attorney for Hit and Run in Michigan
If you or someone you know has been arrested for leaving the scene, it’s time you secure legal representation. Defending against hit and run charges isn’t an easy task and you’ll need an attorney with extensive traffic crime experience on your side. Find that attorney today with J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C.. He has years of experience in the courtroom and can utilize his widespread knowledge and resources to fight your charges.
Call Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000 now to set up your first free consultation. Our offices can be found in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan but we practice throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area.