What are some possible defenses if you’re a driver who is accused of leaving the scene of an accident?

Hit and Run Traffic SignVirginia Code §46.2-894 requires drivers to do three things. Drivers should: (1) stop as close as they can to the accident scene without obstructing traffic, (2) report their name, address, driver’s license number and vehicle registration number to the police, and (3) provide reasonable assistance for anyone injured in the crash. The failure to do any of these things is a crime known as leaving the scene of the accident.

If the crash resulted only in property damage valued at $1,000 or less, then leaving the scene of the accident is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both jail time and a fine.

Leaving the scene of an accident where an injury or death occurred, or where the property damage is valued at $1,000 or more is a Class 5 felony, which is punishable by a jail term of one to ten years and a fine of up to $2,500.

Potential Hit and Run Defenses

If you are accused of leaving the scene of an accident, then you need to consider your potential defenses. Our experienced Fairfax criminal defense lawyers will consider exactly what happened and develop a comprehensive criminal defense strategy for your unique case.

Some of the defenses that we will consider include:

  • There is reasonable doubt that you committed any aspect of the alleged crime
     
  • Your injuries prevented you from remaining at the accident scene, and you reported the accident as soon as you could
     
  • The police didn’t follow proper procedures
     
  • You weren’t the driver at the time of the accident (in these cases, another law may apply)
     
  • There was no injury, death, or property damage
     
  • You hit an unattended car and left a note after a reasonable attempt to find the owner

Virginia’s hit and run laws are complicated, and the consequences of a conviction are significant. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact our understanding Virginia criminal defense lawyers for a thorough review of your case and to discuss your potential defense. Please call us or reach out to us through this website today to set up your initial meeting.