Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal act that is imprisonable, and can turn a simple fender bender into a serious matter depending on the circumstances associated with the incident. In Michigan, a driver must by law remain at the scene of any accident in which they are involved. This requirement applies in every instance regardless of fault, even if there was no apparent damage to any vehicle or property.
If you have been Charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, we recommend that you retain experienced counsel to aid in the defense of this charge. We know the law and can help you understand your rights and develop defenses to charges levied against you. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
Understanding Related Accident Laws
Leaving the scene offenses, also known as a “hit and run,” are covered by Michigan Compiled Law 257.617. There are three specific classifications depending on the severity of the offense.
* Causing Damage to a Vehicle: A misdemeanor charge that includes a maximum penalty of 90 days in prison and or up to $500 fine upon conviction.
* Causing Injury to Another Person: A misdemeanor that includes a maximum penalty of 180 days in prison and or up to $1000 fine upon conviction.
* Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death to Another Person: A felony charge that includes a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and or up to $10,000 fine upon conviction.
Because a charge of leaving the scene of an accident is such a serious offense, it is important to seek out the advice and counsel of an attorney experienced in both Michigan Traffic and Criminal law. The attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC will review the circumstances associated with your incident in an effort to develop the best possible defense.
For example, fleeing the scene of accident in situations where a party feels threatened or is physically assaulted may provide a reasonable explanation for the actions of the accused. An effective defense can also be developed in cases where it can be established that leaving the scene was necessary to prevent a greater harm. This would include circumstances where a life threatening injury prompted one or both of the parties to leave the scene in order to transport an injured person to a medical facility.
Remember, judges have a tremendous amount of discretion when imposing your punishment. Without us, or another competent attorney, you may say or do the wrong thing, increasing your punishment. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were violated is particularly helpful. That said, we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, and St. Clair. For more information about fleeing the scene of accident, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
Important Accident Related Considerations
In any accident related situation, it is important to remain calm and remember to follow some basic guidelines. Additionally, it is critical to obtain the other diver’s information while asking the officer for a business card and an accident report number. Keep a cool head and remember as with any other violation, never admit fault regardless of how the events relating to the accident may appear. Most importantly, stay at the scene of the accident until a law enforcement officer indicates that you can leave. Even when there is little if any property damage involved, leaving the scene can result in further complications later on.
Why hire us?
Fleeing the scene of accident cases are complicated, and it is essential for anyone charged with a crime that falls within this classification to immediately seek out the advice and counsel of a qualified attorney. The outcome of every case will ultimately be determined on its own merits, but obtaining legal representation early in the process will help assure a more favorable outcome. One of the greatest advantages of hiring our firm is the connections we bring to the process. Typically we know the prosecutor and the judge, allowing us to anticipate the judge’s reactions, understand how the prosecutor will want to proceed, and to negotiate the best deal for our clients in efforts of removing as much uncertainty from the process as possible. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were charged is particularly helpful. That said we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, and St. Clair.
Let us help you navigate the Court system’s rough waters and keep you out of jail. For more information about fleeing the scene of accident and other criminal Misdemeanors, and/or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.