car accident

What's the Penalty for a Hit and Run in Arizona?

An unfortunate fact is that many motor vehicle accidents happen every day.

In Arizona in 2019, there were a total of 129,750 car crashes, and of those:

  • 911 resulted in fatalities;
  • 36,926 resulted in injury; and
  • 91,913 resulted in property damage only

If you're involved in an accident, you must fulfill certain requirements before you leave the scene. Failure to do so is an offense referred to as hit and run. Depending on your circumstances, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for engaging in such conduct.

What Are My Requirements at an Accident?

Regardless of the result of the auto collision you're in, you have specific legal duties to fulfill. First, you must stop at the scene or as close to it as possible.

Then, you must provide the other driver or other persons involved with the following:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your vehicle registration number

Also, if asked by the other driver or any of the passengers, you must show them your driver's license.

Lastly, if anyone was injured in the accident, you must give reasonable assistance. This includes arranging transportation to get them to medical care.

Failure to do any of the above is a crime itself. For instance, not providing your personal information is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail. And not helping injured persons is a class 6 felony, a conviction for which can result in up to 2 years in prison.

Potential Criminal Consequences for a Hit-and-Run

Car accidents vary in severity and can have different types of results. Some may cause vehicle damage alone; others, minor injuries. And still, others might cause serious injury or death.

The consequences you could face for leaving the scene before fulfilling your legal duties depend on the type of damage caused:

  • Vehicle damage alone
    • Class 2 misdemeanor charge
      • Up to 4 months in jail
      • Driver's license suspension for 1 year
  • Minor Injury
    • Class 5 felony
      • Up to 2.5 years in prison
  • Serious injury or death
    • Class 3 felony
      • Up to 8.75 years in prison
      • Driver's license revocation for 5 years (if the accident resulted in serious injury)
      • Driver's license revocation for 10 years (if the accident resulted in death)
  • Serious injury or death (if you caused the accident)
    • Class 2 felony
      • Up to 12.5 years in prison
      • Driver's license revocation for 5 years (if the accident resulted in serious injury)
      • Driver's license revocation for 10 years (if the accident resulted in death)

The punishments for a hit and run are severe, which is why it's necessary to consult with an attorney about your case.

To discuss your legal options and possible defenses, call Oliverson & Huss Law PLLC at (480) 351-2228 or contact us online.

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