It is unlawful in Colorado to leave the scene of a traffic accident. Even if no injury occurs in the accident, certain duties apply to all citizens. If serious injury or death occurs, a hit and run can become a felony charge. A car accident can be a traumatic experience, leading to knee-jerk reactions that can be costly. Consulting an experienced hit and run lawyer can make all the difference in forming a strong defense.
What Are My Duties After a Car Accident?
Drivers are legally bound to remain at the scene of an accident in Aurora, CO unless one of the following occurs:
- a driver leaves to report the accident to police
- the other vehicle is unoccupied (must leave info and call police)
- a driver leaves due to a severe personal injury and needs immediate medical assistance
A driver involved in an accident can also move their vehicle a small distance to avoid obstructing traffic. In any accident that involves an injured person, it is also unlawful to not provide reasonable assistance. Examples include calling an ambulance or making arrangements for the injured person to see a medical professional.
If an accident causes damage to an unoccupied vehicle or other property, the driver is required to either locate and notify the owner or leave a note in an obvious place. This note must include your name, address, and vehicle registration number.
Punishments for Hit and Run in Aurora, Colorado
The consequences for a hit and run differ based on a whether the other vehicle was occupied, damaged, or anyone suffered injury. Below are the potential sentences for each situation:
- Unoccupied vehicle and / or property damage = class 2 traffic misdemeanor (10-90 days in county jail / fine of $150-$300)
- Hit and run involving non-serious injury = class 1 traffic misdemeanor (10-90 days in county jail / fine of $300-$1,000)
- Hit and run involving serious bodily injury = class 4 felony (2-6 years in prison / fine of $2,000-$500,000)
- A hit and run involving death = class 3 felony (4-12 years in prison / fine of $3,000-$750,000
Conviction of Leaving the Scene of an Accident C.R.S. 42-4-1601 can also result in a 12 point penalty applied to a Colorado driver's license, resulting in a revoke. Additionally, restitution fees might apply for car repairs or medical bills. It is of the utmost importance that a skilled hit and run attorney act on your behalf in situations such as these.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Aurora | Hit and Run Lawyer
Car accidents can certainly cause those involved a lapse in judgement. You might panic or not be aware of how serious an accident was. Don't face something that can escalate to a felony charge alone. Calling a skillful hit and run lawyer can be all the difference in your traffic case. If police or detectives contact you regarding a traffic accident, don't give them statements they can use against you.
If you or someone you know is facing a hit and run charge, be smart. Call the expert defense lawyers at O'Malley and Sawyer at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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