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Leaving the scene of a crash can have serious consequences

| Feb 15, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

In Virginia, as in everywhere else in the country, leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. If you were the one who caused the crash, and if someone was injured or killed, the offense is typically a felony hit-and-run, and the legal consequences can be particularly serious.

Drivers involved in crashes, whether with another vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian, have a legal obligation to stay at the scene, see if anyone needs help and provide identification. That’s true for any driver, whether they caused the crash or not. The only exception for not remaining at the scene is if you have to leave to get help for anyone who’s been injured.

What is the law in Virginia?

Under Virginia law, drivers who are involved in a crash where someone is injured or killed or a vehicle or other property is damaged are required to do the following:

  • Stop as close to the crash as they can without obstructing traffic.
  • Provide identifying information for their vehicle and themselves to the person who was hit (if that person is in any condition to understand it), law enforcement and/or the “custodian of other damaged property.”
  • Provide “reasonable assistance” to anyone who was injured, including potentially taking them to the hospital.

Often, people panic after a crash and keep driving. Some do it because they know they’re under the influence and don’t want to face DUI charges. Some tell themselves no one was hurt, even though they have no way of knowing that. Leaving the scene of a crash is only going to make things worse for you.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for a hit and run crash, it’s essential to get legal help as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can work to effectively present your defense and mitigate the consequences.