Traffic Accidents Happen: Doing the Right Thing Helps
Traffic accidents are scary and can be traumatic. Whether it involves two or more vehicles, a vehicle and a pedestrian, or a vehicle and a bicyclist, catastrophic injuries may result. It can be scary to act responsibly in the face of an accident, but it is always better to do so.
When an accident happens and you flee without exchanging information, the repercussions can be severe. If you have had an accident, panicked and fled, here are some things that you might want to know.
Accidents: The Law Requires The Exchange of Information
In addition to requiring that all drivers carry a minimum of liability insurance, Oklahoma law also requires that anyone involved in a vehicular accident stop to give aid to any party who may be injured. And you must exchange information, giving the correct name, address, vehicle registration, license, and insurance information.
If the accident causes great injury or death, the driver of the other vehicle must submit to drug and alcohol screening as soon as the person is able. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 10-104. If the accident involves only property damage, you must immediately stop at the scene, render aid if needed, and exchange information. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 10-103.
If you fail to do so, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor and fined as much as $500. And you could be sentenced to jail for as much as one year. In addition, you can be held liable for as many as three times the damages caused in the accident. This means that the other party can sue you in civil court. You will face proceedings in criminal and civil court on a hit and run.
In all nonfatal accidents, if you willfully, maliciously, or feloniously fail to stop in order to avoid getting caught or prosecuted, you could be convicted of a felony, lose your license. And you could be ordered to serve as few as 10 days to as many as two years in jail. And you could be fined as little as $50 to as much as $1,000. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 10-102.
If you intentionally fail to stop after being involved in an accident in which someone dies, you may be convicted of a felony, sentenced to jail from as few as one year to as many as 10 years, lose your license and you may also have to pay a fine as little as $1,000 to as much as $10,000 dollars. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 10-102.1.
Hit and Run is Just Never the Answer
You may be high, or the car is stolen. Or maybe your insurance has lapsed. Usually, a hit and run happens because the driver is afraid to face the consequences of their actions. But as scary as it is to stop and exchange information, the consequences of a hit and run are never good. And eventually, you will be caught.
If this has happened to you or to a loved one, you will want an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through every step of a criminal prosecution against you. Your Claremore Lawyer can help preserve your freedom.
Free Consultation With An Experienced Claremore Criminal Defense Attorney
Call the Claremore Lawyer today. We are here and ready to help you. We pride ourselves on providing the very best in legal representation at reasonable prices. And the initial consultation is free. Call us at (918) 213-0950. If you prefer written correspondence, submit your question using the form at the top right of this page.