Skip to content

Is a Hit and Run a Felony


The legality of a hit and run hinges on the severity of the damage caused. The perpetrator can face charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the injuries inflicted on an individual or damage to property. Running away from the scene makes it even worse. Depending on the situation, this act may lead to serious legal consequences, including imprisonment.

It is important to always stay at the scene after an accident, as fleeing makes matters worse.

Hit and run may sound like a fun game, but in real life, it’s about as fun as a root canal without anesthesia.

Understanding Hit and Run

To understand hit and run incidents, where a driver flees the scene of an accident, read on. Definition of Hit and Run and various types of hit and run crimes will be discussed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of this issue.

Definition of Hit and Run

The act of Hit and Run is when a driver hits another vehicle, object, or pedestrian, and then flees the scene without providing any assistance or exchanging contact information. This is considered a criminal offense due to the disregard for the safety of others and failure to abide by traffic laws.

The consequences of Hit and Run can be severe, including fines, license suspension or revocation, and even imprisonment. Victims of Hit and Run may suffer physical injuries, property damage, emotional distress, and financial burdens.

It’s important to note that Hit and Run incidents aren’t limited to just car accidents. They could also occur in hit-and-run pedestrian accidents or bike collisions. In such cases where an injured person cannot identify the driver who caused them harm is eligible for compensation from their own insurance company if they have personal injury protection coverage.

A recent case saw a drunk driver running over an elderly couple crossing the street at night; both died on the spot while their dog was severely injured. The drunk driver fled but was later found out through surveillance cameras on a nearby store. His sentence saw him serving 12 years in prison coupled with restitution to the dog owner as well as paying funeral expenses for the couple’s family members among other things.

Hit and run comes in all shapes and sizes, kind of like a box of messed up chocolates.

Different Types of Hit and Run

When it comes to instances of leaving the scene of an accident, there are various types of hit and run situations that can occur. Different Types of Hit and Run incidents can range from minor fender benders to serious accidents resulting in injury or death.

For a more detailed breakdown, refer to the following table:

Type Description
Classic Hit and Run Driver leaves without providing any information or identifying themselves after causing an accident
Parked Car Hit and Run Driver leaves without providing any information after causing damage to an unoccupied, parked vehicle
Pedestrian Hit and Run Driver leaves without providing any information after hitting a pedestrian with their vehicle

It’s important to note that as technology advances, there have been new types of hit and run incidents reported, such as leaving the scene of a drone collision. No matter what type of incident occurs, it is illegal to leave the scene without stopping and exchanging information with those involved.

Pro Tip: If you are ever involved in a hit and run situation, try to gather as much information as possible about the other driver and their vehicle before they leave the scene. This can include photos or video footage if available, along with their license plate number if possible.

Why hire a lawyer for a hit and run? Because running isn’t going to solve anything, except maybe your cardio.

To understand the legal consequences of a hit and run, you need to know if such a crime is considered a felony. If you’re unsure, we’ve got you covered. In this section on “Legal Consequences of Hit and Run,” we’ll look at the potential penalties for this crime and the factors that affect them. Watch this space for insights on “Hit and Run as a Felony” and “Factors Affecting the Penalty.”

Hit and Run as a Felony

When a driver flees the scene of an accident, it is considered a severe crime known as ‘Hit and Run.’ Committing this offense can result in being accused of a felony, leaving you with significant legal consequences. Hit and Run as a Felony charge may take place if there is injury or death caused by the crash.

When you commit Hit and Run as a Felony offense, you may face severe penalties like imprisonment, losing your driving license, or paying hefty fines to cover the damages caused by the accident. It is crucial to know that even if life-threatening injuries are not inflicted on someone during the accident but only minor ones, still you might be sentenced to serve time for running away from the scene.

In some States, Hit and Run laws vary depending on whether the accident occurred in private property or public roads. However, what remains unchanged is that these offenses carry stiff fines as well as jail terms if responsible parties are convicted.

Pro tip: Regardless of how insignificant or substantial damage caused by accidents, always reach out to authorities immediately and do not leave the scene until it’s cleared by police.

Looks like the severity of the penalty depends on more than just hitting someone and running – who knew there was a science to being a criminal?

Factors Affecting the Penalty

The Severity of Consequences Due to Hit-and-Run Incidents

Various factors can impact the severity of the penalty that will be imposed on an individual involved in a hit-and-run accident. Some of these factors include the severity of property damage caused, any bodily injuries or fatalities resulting from the incident, whether there was an attempt to report the incident and provide aid, and whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

To illustrate how these factors can affect potential penalties, we have created a table:

Factors Affecting Penalty Description
Property Damage Minimizes damage = Reduced Penalty
Bodily Harm No Injuries = Standard Penalty; Moderate/Severe=Jail
Reporting and Aid Immediate Report/Aid=Reduced Penalty
Intoxication Higher BAC Level=Increased Punishment

It is important to note that unique circumstances surrounding each case can also contribute to variations in punishment. For instance, driving under a suspended license could worsen legal consequences even if no one got hurt or damaged property.

Every state has its clause for its Hit-and-Run laws. Understanding your state’s unique provisions is crucial to know your responsibilities as a driver.

Failing to understand these provisions increases your exposure to harsher penalties including prolonged jail time, hefty fines or deprived suspension of license. It’s essential to be aware of and comply with all existing driving safety regulations regardless of where you are driving.

You can’t hit and run from the law, but apparently some people think they can Ghostbuster their way out of it.

Possible Defenses in Hit and Run Cases

To defend yourself in hit and run cases, know the possible defenses with lack of knowledge, duress, and mistaken identity as a solution. These defenses can reduce or eliminate the charges against you.

Lack of Knowledge

When it comes to hit and run cases, one possible defense is a lack of awareness or knowledge about the collision. Without intent, the defendant cannot be charged with hit and run. If the defendant did not realize they were involved in an accident, their actions do not meet the legal definition of hit and run. However, this defense typically requires evidence to support it, such as testimony from witnesses or proof that the driver was distracted by other circumstances.

It’s important to note that claiming a lack of knowledge can be challenging in some cases. Defendants who engage in activities that could have affected their driving ability, such as drug use or texting while driving, might find it difficult to argue that they were unaware of a collision. It’s also worth mentioning that even if someone genuinely did not know about an accident at first, failing to stop and assess the situation can still lead to charges.

While invoking this defense might not always work, it’s still worth considering if there’s a chance it applies in a particular case. To increase the chances of success, defendants should provide as much supporting evidence as possible. This includes information about any distractions or foreign substances at play during the incident – for example, if they were adjusting their GPS or had been prescribed medication that impaired their judgement. Providing witness statements showing that they too didn’t recognize initially puts even more weight behind this potential defense strategy.

If only hitting a parked car could be considered a form of duress, I’d be a master at evading responsibility.


When a driver feels an immediate threat or harm, they might be forced to flee the scene of an accident. This particular defense refers to the compelling or coercive influence that makes a person perform an act against their will. If a driver hits someone or something and is then threatened with potential violence, injury, or death from another party, they might have acted under duress when leaving the scene of the accident.

Moreover, proving duress in hit and run cases can be complicated since it requires evidence beyond doubt. In such situations, the defendant must prove that force was used by another party to make them flee and that there were no reasonable alternatives available at the time. While this defense may only apply in select hit and run cases – where illegal activity could follow if one does not comply with another’s demands- drivers should still consider consulting experts.

When using duress as a possible defense in hit-and-run cases, many variables determine its effectiveness given different scenarios. Still, legal teams endeavor to explore all possible defenses to protect their client’s rights regardless of circumstances. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to prove duress beyond reasonable doubt; thus proceeding with caution and choosing an experienced attorney-like Paul Padda Law– is always recommended.

“Looks like the victim misidentified their attacker – must have been too hard to read the license plate from the pavement.”

Mistaken Identity

The phenomenon of mistaken identity is one of the possible defenses in hit and run cases. It may occur when someone who resembles the actual driver responsible for a hit and run offense is mistakenly identified as the offender. This defense can be used to argue that the defendant was wrongly accused of committing the crime.

Several factors may contribute to mistaken identity, including poor lighting conditions, biased witnesses, or lack of sufficient evidence. For this defense to be successful, it is crucial to establish a reasonable doubt about the defendant’s involvement in the crime by pointing out inconsistencies in eyewitness testimonies or presenting alibis that prove their absence at the time of the incident.

Despite its potential benefits, using this defense can be challenging due to legal technicalities involved. The defendant must provide credible evidence to support their claim and disprove any charges against them beyond a reasonable doubt.

One real-life example of using this defense occurred in Los Angeles when a man was falsely accused of being involved in a hit and run after his car was found damaged at the scene. However, surveillance footage later revealed that another vehicle with similar make and model had caused the accident, leading to an acquittal for the accused individual.

Running away from responsibilities never solves anything, except maybe your cardio.

Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Incident

To effectively handle a hit and run incident, it’s crucial to know the steps you should take, including contacting law enforcement, gathering evidence, and seeking medical attention. By following these sub-sections as a solution in the section of “Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Incident” with the title “Is a Hit and Run a Felony,” you can protect yourself legally and physically.

Contacting Law Enforcement

Getting in touch with Law Enforcement is crucial when involved in a Hit and Run incident. The first step one should take after the occurrence is informing the local police about the accident, providing them with all the details about what happened. Failure to report could lead to serious legal consequences later on.

When dealing with Law enforcers, it is essential to be cooperative and truthful. They will demand specific information that should be provided truthfully, such as information about your vehicle (make, model, and plate number), where the accident occurred and how it occurred. One should avail themselves of any other useful information or evidence they have.

It would help if you also took the initiative of requesting a copy of the police report made since it would be useful evidence in claiming insurance. This document has an officer’s name, police department name and contact information that can aid in keeping track of court dates or seeking additional information needed for insurance claims.

It is reported that over 800,000 hit-and-run cases occur every year causing around 1,500 fatalities. An unfortunate example happened in New York City where a four-year-old lost his life, hit by a car whose driver fled before neighbors could identify him. Urging anyone who may have witnessed these incidents to come forth & provide security footage materials that can be used by Accident Investigators & Insurance Companies alike; this helps bring culprits to book & justice served accordingly. When it comes to gathering evidence for a hit and run, remember: CSI may not be investigating, but attention to detail can still crack the case.

Gathering Evidence

After a hit and run incident, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. This includes taking photos of the damages, recording witness statements, and obtaining any available surveillance footage. Additionally, be sure to get the other driver’s license plate number and contact information.

To ensure you have accurate information, try to write down as many details as possible, such as the time and location of the accident and any weather conditions that may have contributed. Once you have gathered evidence, be sure to report the incident to your insurance company and local law enforcement.

Remember that every piece of evidence can make a significant difference in your case. By securing photographic evidence, written accounts, and documentation from witnesses or passerby, you can make a compelling argument in front of an insurance adjuster or a judge.

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that there were over 737,000 hit-and-run incidents in 2019. Getting hit and running can leave a mark, so make sure to seek medical attention before becoming a hit and run victim of neglect.

Seeking Medical Attention

After a hit and run accident, it is crucial to receive prompt medical attention for any injuries sustained. Seeking urgent medical assistance can reduce the risk of serious complications and ensure that injuries are promptly treated. Furthermore, having a doctor evaluate your condition can provide crucial documentation of injuries for insurance and legal purposes.

In addition, seeking medical attention can identify any underlying injuries that may not be immediately apparent after an accident. Some injuries may have delayed onset symptoms, and early detection can mean the difference between a timely recovery or prolonged suffering.

It is essential to seek medical attention even if you feel fine after the accident. Adrenaline rush during a traumatic event can mask pain or discomfort caused by the injury. EMTs on the scene will often advise anyone involved in an accident to seek further evaluation even if they do not seem hurt at the time.

In a past incident, a pedestrian was hit by a car and left at the scene with severe leg injuries. Despite being in considerable pain, she decided not to seek immediate medical attention as she thought walking on her own would help alleviate some of it. However, later that day she was forced to call 911 for emergency services due to unbearable pain in her legs. The delay worsened her condition and prolonged her healing process significantly.

Remember, even if you hit and run, karma has a funny way of catching up to you…and it’s not always a fender bender.


Hit and run cases, where a driver flees the scene after an accident, can result in serious consequences. Depending on the severity of the accident and injuries sustained, hit and runs can be classified as felonies or misdemeanors.

In most states, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in injury or death is considered a felony. This can result in significant legal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. Additionally, those involved may also face civil suits from the victims or their families.

It’s important to note that hit and run laws vary by state. Some states may classify certain types of accidents as misdemeanors instead of felonies. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand your state’s specific laws regarding hit and runs.

It is reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that there were approximately 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015 alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a hit and run always considered a felony?

No, a hit and run can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Factors that may lead to a hit and run being charged as a felony include the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim or if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

2. How serious is a hit and run felony charge?

A hit and run felony charge is very serious and can result in significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a criminal record that can affect your personal and professional life for years to come.

3. What should I do if I was involved in a hit and run accident?

If you were involved in a hit and run accident, you should immediately contact the police and provide them with as much information as possible about the other driver and their vehicle. It is also important to seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident.

4. Can I be charged with a hit and run if I didn’t realize I hit someone?

Yes, you can still be charged with a hit and run if you were involved in an accident and left the scene, even if you did not realize you hit someone. It is important to always stop and assess the situation if you are involved in an accident.

5. Can a hit and run conviction be expunged from my record?

It may be possible to have a hit and run conviction expunged from your record, depending on the laws in your state and the severity of the offense. It is best to consult with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.

6. How can a lawyer help if I have been charged with a hit and run?

A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, work with you to build a strong defense, negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges or penalties, and provide guidance throughout the legal process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *