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Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit & Run)
When an auto accident occurs, your adrenaline is flowing and your nerves are likely shot. Even a minor fender-bender is a stressful experience. Although you may not be thinking clearly at this time, you cannot leave the scene of the accent without facing potential criminal legal action. If you are facing charges of hit and run, you need the assistance of an experienced Iowa criminal defense lawyer.
Being in an auto accident can be quite scary. Depending on the severity of the collision, the adrenaline rush that occurs at the time of the accident can cause you to tremble and not think clearly. Despite this, however, you must stop. Failure to do so can result in Hit & Run charges.Charged with a crime in Iowa? Please call (888) 259-6838.
Many people leave the scene of the accident when they are scared of the repercussions. Unfortunately, leaving the scene typically results in greater penalties than the accident itself would have. Even if you have active warrants, or were driving without insurance, staying behind may have far less potential risks than fleeing.
Duty to Stop after an Auto Accident
In Iowa, if you are involved in an accident, you have a legal duty to stop. Following an accident, you must stop your vehicle at the earliest convenience and return to the scene.
If someone is injured, it is your duty to assist them as much as possible in getting the medical attention they need. This could be as simple as calling 911 or staying with them in anticipation of medical personnel.
When you disregard the duty to stop or refuse to share information with the other parties in the accident, you can face criminal charges.
The criminal charge you face and the severity of the penalties depend on the seriousness of the accident. Serious property damage or personal injury can increase the severity of the charges and possible criminal penalties if you are convicted.
Leaving the Scene of a Vehicle Damage Accident – Laws & Penalties
If the accident resulted only in vehicle damage (no injury), you will face misdemeanor charges. Typically, a misdemeanor like this carries a potential 30 day jail sentence and fines of up to $625.
Ref: IA. St. §321.262
Leaving the Scene of an Injury Accident
Under Iowa law, if the accident involves injury to a party, your criminal charge can be elevated to a serious misdemeanor. This charge carries a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and fines of $1875.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death
If, on the rare occurrence, the auto accident you are involved in results in the death of someone, you can face serious felony charges in Iowa. This is a Class D felony which carries up to 5 years in prison and fines of $7500.
Ref: IA. St. §321.261
License Suspension After a Hit and Run
Regardless of the outcome of your accident, if you are found guilty of hit and run, you can lose your license. Depending on the severity, you could lose it permanently.
Free Legal Consultation on Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Iowa
Understanding what you are facing is one thing. Fighting the charges against you is another. As Iowa defense lawyers, we are committed to working diligently towards the best possible outcome in court for our clients.
We have handled many criminal traffic offenses like hit and run cases in these criminal courts. But every case is different, so we treat each case with the unique individual attention it needs.
If you are facing charges like these, contact our attorneys today. After hearing the details of your case, we may be able to give you some free legal advice, and suggest exactly how we can help.