Hit And Run

A smashed side mirror

The term “hit and run” is often used to describe the crime of leaving the scene of an accident. In North Carolina and many other states, all drivers have the legal duty to stop their vehicles and remain at the scene of an accident till the police arrive.

North Carolina laws specifically state that drivers who know that they have been involved in a crash must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene and remain with the vehicle until the police finish their initial investigations or permit them (the drivers) to leave.

There are different modalities to a hit and run charge. These can range from leaving the scene of a major accident to not alerting the police of a minor fender bender. If you have been charged with a hit and run in North Carolina, you should speak to a North Carolina criminal defense attorney. This is so that your unique case may be reviewed and assessed.

At the Stowe Law Firm, PLLC our criminal defense lawyer is top notch. You have the right to defend yourself and we have the resources required to put up a solid defense. We have helped many people defend against diverse hit and run charges, and we have an amazing record of positive outcomes. Let us do the same for you.

North Carolina Hit And Run Penalties

The laws guiding a hit and run in North Carolina are both very broad and specific. Violations of these laws could range from a Class F felony to a Class 2 misdemeanor. Under North Carolina laws. A crash is described as any event that results in injury or property damage that is related directly to the motion of a motor vehicle or its load.

Secondly, fault does not matter in North Carolina. It doesn't matter who hit who; everyone at the scene must stop. These laws do not differ based on public streets or public highways. they exist on every single road even on private roads and property.

There are different types of hit and run violations in North Carolina and because each charge covers different types of scenarios, there are different punishments levels as well. If you have been charged with a hit and run in North Carolina, it is very important to know what specific hit and run you are charged with. Here are the most common:

  • Failure to stop or remain at the scene when serious bodily injury or death occurs. This is a Class F felony and punishments include up to 59 months in prison. Your license will be revoked for at least 1 year. Limited driving privileges are not available.
  • Failure to stop or remain at the scene when personal injury occurs. This is a Class H felony and punishments include up to 39 months in prison. This conviction comes with a license revocation for at least 1 year. Limited driving privileges are available.
  • Failure to give information or assistance when personal injury or death occurs. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor and punishment includes up to 120 days in jail. Your driver's license will be revoked. Limited driving privileges are not available.
  • Failure to stop when injury or death not apparent or only property damage occurs: This is as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Failure to give information when injury or death not apparent or only property damage occurs. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Failure to notify the authorities. This is a Class 2 misdemeanor and punishment includes up to 60 days of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. Your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked depending on the court’s decisions.

A driver who knows or should reasonably know that his vehicle has been involved in a crash must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash. Further they must remain at the scene of the crash and must not allow, facilitate or agree to the removal of any vehicle from the scene of the crash.

When Can A Person Leave The Scene Of An Accident?

You are only allowed to leave the scene of the crash once the law enforcement agencies authorize you to leave. However, there are some exceptions to the rule:

  • You may leave the scene of an accident if remaining at the scene possesses a significant risk of injury;
  • You are leaving the scene to call a law enforcement officer (assuming you do not have a cell phone present);
  • Or if you need to leave the scene to call for medical assistance or to seek medical treatment.

If you must leave the scene of the crash for any of the aforementioned reasons, you must return with the vehicle involved in the accident within a reasonable time, unless otherwise instructed by a law enforcement officer.

What Should A Person Do When Involved In A Crash?

Each person involved in a crash is required to provide their information to the other person involved in the accident. This information includes name, address, driver’s license number and license plate number. If the crash involves a parked car, the driver must provide the above information to either a law enforcement officer. Additionally you can also provide the necessary information to the owner of the vehicle hit within 48 hours. If the owner is unknown, you must leave a note containing the required information in a visible place on the damaged vehicle.

If the crash involves hitting a telephone pole or a guardrail and not a vehicle, you must notify the local law enforcement agency or the North Carolina department of transportation.

A driver involved in a crash must render aid to a person injured in the crash. This aid should include calling for medical assistance if medical assistance is necessary or requested by the person.

A reportable accident is defined under the laws of North Carolina as a crash that results in (a) a person’s injury or death, (b) property damage of at least $1,000, or (c) property damage to a vehicle. Any driver involved in a reportable accident must immediately by the fastest means of communication, inform law enforcement.

Defenses Against Hit And Run Charges

There are certain defenses that can be very helpful if you are fighting against a hit and run charge in North Carolina. These defenses may increase your chances of getting the charges reduced or completely dismissed.

  • Lack of Knowledge: You did not know you were involved in an accident. Or you didn’t know that the accident caused damage or injury.
  • You only left the scene temporarily to get help
  • You’ve been falsely accused
  • You’ve been mistakenly identified.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Most of the time the quality of your defense, determines the outcome of your case. At the Stowe Law Firm, PLLC, Ryan Stowe is known for his deep expertise and passionate defense against charges. Let us help you in your hit and run case.

About Ryan Stowe

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Ryan Stowe is the principal attorney at Stowe Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Stowe is proud to be practicing in his hometown of Salisbury, NC, and is a first generation Rowan County attorney. Mr. Stowe takes pride in being a criminal defense attorney. He focuse…

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