Car accidents of any kind can be unnerving to experience – even ones that are so minor that they don’t result in physical injuries and barely cause damage to the vehicles involved. Part of that unnerving experience may be due to how even a fender bender can sound and feel way more serious from inside a vehicle. It can also be due to the psychology we have about cars and that they must never come into contact with one another.
Regardless of how serious the accident really is, under no circumstances should you ever think about leaving without exchanging information with the other driver or providing it to a police officer. Failing to stop at the scene is a crime that begins as a Class 2 Misdemeanor but can be as serious as a Class 3 Felony. This means that you can get into some serious legal trouble by leaving because you were too frightened or thought the accident wasn’t serious enough to exchange information.
Keep in mind that while you may have actually stopped to assess damage and even greet the other driver, failing to provide your information to him or her before driving off is just as bad as never getting out at all.
What Are the Penalties for Fleeing the Scene of an Accident?
As previously mentioned, fleeing the scene of an accident starts as a Class 2 Misdemeanor and can become as serious as a Class 3 Felony – but under what circumstances and what are the possible punishments for a conviction?
The penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident in Colorado break down as such:
- Fleeing an accident that only resulted in property damage: Class 2 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- Fleeing an accident that resulted in injuries: Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and $5,000 in fines.
- Fleeing an accident that resulted in serious bodily injuries: Class 5 Felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
- Fleeing an accident that resulted in death: Class 3 Felony, punishable by four to 12 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
As you can see, failing to stop at the scene of an accident carries with it some severe consequences – even in the least serious situation. In addition to these criminal penalties, someone convicted of this crime will lose their driving privileges for a period of time that depends upon the severity of their crime. They will also get 12 points added to their driving record, which can have consequences for how much they must pay in car insurance premiums.
Do You Need Help with Your Case?
If you’ve been charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, understand that this is a criminal matter and you could lose your freedom if convicted. Because this is no mere traffic violation, you could face jail time and imprisonment in addition to serious fines. At Orr Law Firm, however, you can get the legal support you need to defend against your charges.
Our attorneys have represented many clients facing charges such as yours. We’ve been able to help previous clients mitigate their responsibility by reducing their charges or eliminating them entirely. Our skillful advocacy can help you ensure that the system treats you fairly – for more information about how we can help, reach out to us today!