If you’re involved in a car crash and decide to leave the scene, you could be putting your future at risk. Even if you’re not to blame, leaving the scene of an accident can lead to hit-and-run charges. Hit-and-run charges could impact you with large fines and possible jail time.
Normally, those who are found guilty of a hit-and-run crash that only results in property damage end up paying fines of up to $1,000, may go to jail for up to a year and may have to pay for other damages. On the other hand, those who leave the scene when someone is hurt face harsher penalties. Leaving the scene when someone is hurt or killed results in a felony hit-and-run, which is likely to result in incarceration and fines of up to $10,000. Penalties sometimes stack, too. For instance, if you are in a collision with three vehicles, you could be charged for a hit-and-run with property damage and for a felony hit-and-run.
After a crash, don’t think you’ll get away without the police finding you. The police will do an investigation to try to determine who caused the accident along with who fled. A warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Some people can leave the scene without penalties. For instance, if you’re at the scene as a witness, you don’t technically have to stay at the scene. However, if someone believes you caused the crash, it’s better to stay and wait for the police than to leave and find out there is a warrant out for your arrest later. Our site has more on hit-and-run crashes and what to expect.