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Key facts about hit-and-run traffic charges

Auto accidents can be nerve-racking, and even frightening, and this can cause some people to panic. Fleeing from the scene of an auto accident is a serious traffic violation that may result in hefty penalties.

If you face such charges, here are a few key facts to know.

Accident protocol

In accordance with the traffic accident laws, there are a few steps that you must take after an auto accident. These steps include:

  • Stay at the scene and move to a safe area, if needed
  • Assist the other driver or passengers, if necessary
  • Alert law enforcement
  • Collect contact information from the other driver and any witnesses

These are common requirements for accidents in any state. Failing to follow these protocols may result in charges, depending upon the infraction.

Charges

Different factors contribute to determining the charges that you may encounter. For a small accident with minor damage, you may only face a fine, whereas an accident that results in severe property damage or bodily injury may come with federal charges. Committing a hit-and-run offense can lead to jail time and even revocation of your driving privileges.

Proving process

In a federal hit-and-run case, the State serves as the prosecution and must prove you are guilty. To accomplish this, the State must prove three points:

  1. You were a driver in the accident.
  2. There were damages due to the accident.
  3. You did not obey the law and notify law enforcement by the quickest means possible.

If the State can prove these assertions, it has a strong case. On the other hand, if your defense creates any doubt about the truth of any of the assertions, it may be possible to get the court to dismiss the charges.

This is a brief overview of hit-and-run charges. Take some time to review the law and the process to determine the best course of action for you.

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