Maybe you’ve made a serious mistake – you were in an accident and left the scene before the police arrived.
Or maybe you’ve been charged with a hit-and-run offense but you didn’t actually do it.
You’ve got a lot at stake – maybe even your freedom. To help you get through this, you need a hit-and-run driver defense attorney.
Ohio Hit-and-Run Law
Ohio law requires that:
In case of accident or collision resulting in injury or damage to persons or property upon any public or private property other than public roads or highways, due to the driving or operation thereon of any motor vehicle, the person driving or operating the motor vehicle, having knowledge of the accident or collision, shall stop, and, upon request of the person injured or damaged, or any other person, shall give that person the driver’s or operator’s name and address, and, if the driver or operator is not the owner, the name and address of the owner of that motor vehicle, together with the registered number of that motor vehicle, and, if available, exhibit the driver’s or operator’s driver’s or commercial driver’s license.
Even if it seems like there’s minimal or no damage or injury to another vehicle or person, a driver involved in an accident must stop and exchange information with the other driver.
If you hit a vehicle that’s unattended, you must leave your contact and insurance information in a note on the car, in a prominent place such as on the windshield under a wiper.
If someone is injured, then the drivers must wait for law enforcement or other emergency personnel to arrive.
A person who violates this law is guilty of failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident, a first-degree misdemeanor.
If the accident results in serious injury, the failure to stop is a fifth degree felony.
If the violation results in death, then the failure to stop is a third-degree felony.
Causes of Hit-and-Run Accidents
Even though most drivers know they’re supposed to stop if they’re involved in an accident, sometimes they fail to do so. A driver may flee an accident scene because he or she:
- Doesn’t know that stopping is required by law
- Doesn’t realize there’s been an accident (perhaps because he or she was under the influence or fell asleep)
- Is in shock after the accident and unable to make good decisions
- Has no license
- Is driving with a suspended license
- Was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- Is uninsured
- Is in the US illegally
- Has outstanding citations
A driver may fail to stop because he or she is worried about:
- Losing his or her license
- Losing a job
- Increased insurance rates
- Losing insurance coverage
- Getting arrested
- Going to jail
- Facing fines
- Getting deported
- Getting sued
Penalties for Hit-and-Run Accidents in Columbus
A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500, plus at least six points on the driving record.
The penalty for a fifth degree felony is a fine up to $2500 and up to six months in jail, plus a suspension of the driver’s license for at least six months.
For a third degree felony, the penalty can be one to five years in prison.
If you’ve been falsely accused of failing to stop at the scene of an accident, the case can turn on a lot more than just your word against someone else’s.
An experienced hit-and-run trucker driver attorney can present hard evidence about what really happened.
For example, your attorney may be able to show that you weren’t at the scene of the accident by presenting evidence pertaining to both the scene of the accident and your actual location at the time of the accident. This evidence can come from:
- Security cameras
- Cellular phone records
Don’t hurt your case by delaying. The sooner we hear from you, the more we may be able to help.
Yemc Law Offices – A Trusted Resource for Columbus Drivers
For over 20 years Yemc Law Offices have helped Columbus drivers with their Central Ohio traffic violations. Whether it’s a speeding ticket or an OVI charge, we help you understand the charge and advise you on the best way to resolve it. We help you keep your license so you can keep your job.
Contact Us Today
We understand the needs of Ohio drivers. We know your livelihood may depend on your ability to drive. Whether you’ve been charged with a DUI/OVI or another type of moving violation, we can help. Contact us today and we’ll give you a free case evaluation.