Leaving the Scene
After a traffic crash, Utah law requires that you stop and remain at the scene until you have complied with your reporting requirements and rendered aid to any person injured. If you leave the scene, you can face serious criminal penalties for leaving the scene of the accident.
The charges you face depend on whether the accident involved unattended property, attended property, an occupied vehicle, personal injury, serious bodily injury or even death. Charges for leaving the scene (often called "hit and run") can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Attorneys for Leaving the Scene in Salt Lake City
Utah law is often unforgiving in these cases. Keep in mind that you are not required to incriminate yourself after a criminal investigation has begun. Instead, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you invoke your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney representing you at every stage of the case.
An attorney can also help you deal with your insurance company and the insurance company or personal injury attorney for anyone else involved in the crash. We can represent you during every stage of the criminal or civil investigation.
We represent clients accused of fleeing from the scene. We have helped clients after a crash with property and accidents involving a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (801) 532-5297 today to discuss your case.
Why People Leave the Scene of a Crash in Utah
People flee from the scene for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a person just panics. Other times a person leaves the scene because the believe they were driving recklessly, might be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or because their license is suspended.
If a witness gets a description of your vehicle or your tag number, then a law enforcement officer can use that information to track you down. It might take hours, days or even weeks of the officer to knock on your door. The officer will come to see you in order to get you to confess to the crime.
Instead, you have a right to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you and to remain silent. After you retain an attorney, the attorney can contact the law enforcement officer investigating the hit and run to make sure the officer knows
Instead, you have a right to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you and to remain silent. After you retain an attorney, the attorney can contact the law enforcement officer investigating the hit and run to make sure the officer knows you are invoking your 5th amendment right to remain silent and your 6th amendment right to counsel.
This will prevent the officer from coming to your home or place of business for the purpose of interrogating you and obtaining a confession. Your criminal defense attorney is often in the best position to tell your side of the story.
Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage Only
If you are accused of “leaving the scene” of an accident with only property damage, then you can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. Hit and run involving only property damage is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Unattended Property
If you crash into unattended property such as a parked car, then you are still legally required to take steps to locate the owner of the property or to leave your contact information in writing and attach it to the property so that the owner of the property can find. it. (UCC 41-6a-401)
Leaving the Scene Accidents Involving Injury
If you are involved in a crash that results in an injury to any person, then you are required to stop and remain at the scene. You must exchange information and also offer assistance to an injured person.
If you fail to remain at the scene, you can be cited for a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines with a minimum fine of $750.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Serious Bodily Injury
If you were involved in a crash that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, then you could be charged with a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a $5,000 fine. UCC 41-6a-401.3.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death
If you were involved in a crash that resulted in a fatality, then you could be charged with Third Degree Felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a $5,000 fine. UCC 41-6a-401.5.
Types of Leaving the Scene Crimes
Under Utah law, crimes involving leaving the scene can be charged in different ways including:
- § 41–6a–401. Accident involving property damage — Duties of operator (driver), occupant (passenger), and owner—Exchange of information — Notification of law enforcement — Penalties for "hit and run"
- § 41–6a–401.3. Accident involving injury and serious bodily injury — Stop at accident—Penalty
- § 41–6a–401.5. Accident involving death — Stop at accident—Penalty
- § 41–6a–404. Accident reports — When confidential—Insurance policy information—Use as evidence—Penalty for false information
Finding an Attorney for “Leaving the Scene” in Salt Lake City, UT
If you were involved in a traffic accident, then you are required to remain at the scene to exchange information and help any injured person. If you leave the scene then you can be charged with a crime for “leaving the scene” (sometimes called “hit and run”) under Utah law.
After leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage or any injury to another person, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Never make a statement to a law enforcement officer after the criminal investigation begins. Instead, invoke your right to remain silent under the 5th amendment and your right to counsel under the 6th amendment.
Call an attorney at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP to discuss your case. We can begin your defense today.
This article was updated on Friday, June 16, 2017.