If you are involved in a car accident where someone was injured or there was property damage you have a duty to stop your vehicle and exchange information with the other driver or allow the police to arrive on the scene and make a report. If you don’t follow those steps you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, also known as “hit and run”.
In Louisiana leaving the scene of an accident is a very serious matter and both police officers and prosecutors will investigate and may push for the maximum penalties allowed by the law.
What Steps Should I Take If I Was Involved In A Car Accident In Louisiana?
If you were involved in a car crash in Louisiana with another car or with government property or someone else’s property you are required legally to stop your car and pull over to the side of the road if possible. If anyone was injured you should make every effort to help or call emergency services immediately.
When you don’t take the appropriate steps after being involved in a car accident then you will face serious consequences of a leaving the scene of an auto accident charge. The penalties become even more severe where someone was injured in the accident or the accident resulted in death.
What Are The Penalties If I Left The Scene Of An Accident In Louisiana?
If you did not stop your vehicle and helped someone who was injured in the state of Louisiana, then your driving privileges will automatically be suspended until enough evidence is gathered to sustain a conviction or the case is dismissed. If the accident resulted in an injury or death to the other person, then you can even face having your license permanently revoked.
In cases where no one was seriously injured or resulted in death the fine is no more than $500 and possible jail time up to six months. In cases where there is evidence that alcohol or other drugs were used then there is a mandatory minimum sentence of ten days. If the hit and run resulted in serious injury or death then the driver can be fined up to five thousand dollars and imprisoned for up to ten years.
What Should I Do If I Was Involved In An Accident And Fled The Scene?
Although it is common to panic after being involved in a car accident, leaving the scene of an accident is never the solution, even when the accident was not your fault. If you fled the scene of an accident contact an experienced defense attorney immediately.
An attorney can help protect your rights and help defend you for the duration of your case. In many cases a defense attorney can help negotiate a reduction in fines and help you keep your license. An attorney will also help you avoid possible jail time. Hit and runs can adversely affect your insurance as well so it’s important that you hire an attorney to protect you.
Adam H. Rosenblum is a licensed criminal attorney in New York and New Jersey. He commonly defends people who are charged with leaving the scene of an accident in NY.