Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense in Alabama. It doesn’t matter who’s fault it was, you need to attend to the damage and exchange information.
Whatever happened, if you panicked or were fearful of the consquences, it is understandable, and it happens.
But the legal situation must be dealt with immediately to avoid serious criminal penalties. There may be legitimate defenses we can raise in your case to challenge the most serious penalties for this charge.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Laws and Statutes
One of the main offenses regarding leaving the scene of an accident is fleeing a scene where the accident that occurred resulted in the death or injury of another person or persons. The law clearly states that anyone involved in an accident that resulted in someone being injured, killed, or damage done to their vehicle is required to stop at the scene as close as possible and remain at the scene of the accident until the person gives their name and address to the other individual involved in the accident and the correct reports have been filed.
It is required by Alabama law that if you are involved in an accident, you must give your full name, address, and registration number of your vehicle. It is also required by law that if the other individual involved in the accident is injured and in need of medical attention, you are responsible for providing transportation for the injured individual to the nearest hospital if your vehicle is able to do so.
Alabama law states that it is the duty of the driver involved in an accident to immediately contact the police, sheriff, or highway patrol and make a report. If you do not contact the police or make a valid report, you are in violation of the law.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
There are two distinct groups of penalties for leaving the scene of an accident. One group of penalties is for those who leave the scene of an accident where no one was injured or killed, but damage was done to someone else’s property. The other group of penalties deals with those individuals who have fled from the scene of an accident where the other person or persons involved sustained serious injuries or died.
The first group of penalties for those who left the scene of an accident where only property was damaged will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious of the misdemeanor offenses. You may have to pay a $6,000 fine or spend up to a year in county jail, or both.
The second group of penalties is much more severe. Leaving the scene of an accident where an individual was either injured or died is considered to be a Class C felony. In the state of Alabama a Class C felony conviction can put you in prison for up to 10 years and require you to pay a $15,000 fine.
Legal Representation for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident can be a scary situation to be in. You need to hire an attorney immediately who can begin to build a case that can either lighten your sentence or get you a not guilty verdict. The defense will attempt to cast reasonable doubt on your guilt by reexamining eyewitness accounts and calling into question the accuracy of these accounts. If the victim died, the attorney will more than likely work out a plea bargain that could get you a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to the charges.