Hit and Run Charges: Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Michigan

Car running through red light on the intersection and hitting another car. Visual concept for legal blog titled

Under Michigan law, a driver is legally required to stop when they are involved in a car accident. Drivers must exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties and offer assistance to anyone who is injured. Failure to do so could lead to criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident.

If you were charged with leaving the scene of an accident, you may have legal defenses available. But make no mistake — leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime and you need experienced legal representation. Elmen Legal represents people accused of crimes in and around Ann Arbor and throughout Michigan. To put Robert Elmen’s expertise to work for you, contact Elmen Legal today.

What Are Hit and Run Charges in Michigan?

When a driver is involved in a car accident in Michigan, they must stop their vehicle and exchange contact and insurance information with the other people involved. This generally includes their name, address, vehicle information, and insurance information. If anyone was injured, drivers should contact police and emergency medical services and wait for assistance. If you do not stop and instead leave the scene of an accident, you could face criminal charges, even if you were not at fault for causing the crash.

The severity of the criminal charges a driver could face for leaving the scene of an accident varies based on the nature of any injuries that occurred. If the accident involved property damage or minor injuries to another person, the driver may face misdemeanor criminal charges. A driver who leaves the scene of an accident that caused death or severe bodily injury could face felony charges.

Criminal Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents in Michigan

The severity of criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident varies according to the nature of the injuries that were caused.

  • Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage can lead to misdemeanor hit and run charges punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $100 fine, and a driver’s license suspension.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that caused personal injuries to another person is a misdemeanor hit and run charge, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of $1,000, and a driver’s license suspension.
  • A hit and run accident that results in severe bodily injury or death is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the driver leaves the scene and was at fault for causing the accident, the penalties increase to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

What Should You Do If You Were Charged with Hit and Run in Michigan?

A hit and run charge is a serious criminal offense. But, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of being arrested and the severity of the punishment you might face.

After a hit and run accident, police officers usually begin their investigation with a description of the other vehicle, the driver, and the vehicle’s license plate number. The police may call you or show up at your home or work. You may be able to avoid having the police appear at your home or work by contacting a criminal defense lawyer who can arrange a time for you to turn yourself in and avoid being placed under arrest.

In many hit and run accidents, police assume that the driver who left the scene of the accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you were under the influence, do your best to avoid letting the police or the other driver get near you shortly after the accident, as they might report that you had been drinking or were under the influence of drugs. Instead, contact a criminal defense attorney and schedule a time to turn yourself in.

If you were arrested and charged with hit and run, you may have defenses available and might be able to avoid a conviction. Attorney Robert Elmen can evaluate the charges against you and prepare a vigorous defense to help you avoid the fines and jail time that come with a hit and run conviction.

Defenses to Hit and Run Charges

Every case is unique, but you may have defenses to a hit and run charge. For example, depending on the severity of the collision, you may not have realized it occurred or that the crash caused injury or property damage. Or, you may have been falsely accused, mistakenly identified, or left the scene to get help. Regardless of the specifics of your situation, Attorney Elmen can analyze your case and explore opportunities to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence, raise constitutional defenses, and force the prosecutor to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact Elmen Legal for Aggressive Hit and Run Defense

Police take hit and run accidents seriously, and they will almost certainly try to locate and arrest you. They may try to interview witnesses, look for video surveillance footage, and check local body shops for vehicles that match the description of the car involved in the crash.

To defend yourself against Michigan hit and run charges, call (734) 707-8915 or contact Elmen Legal today to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss your case.