Hit-and-Run Penalties in Chesapeake

Hit-and-run accidents happen more often than you might think. It is not unusual for someone to panic when they get into an accident and leave the scene out of fear. In other cases, a driver might not have realized they hit someone or caused an accident.

If you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident, you face serious consequences. Hit-and-run penalties in Chesapeake include a jail or prison sentence in many cases.

There are legitimate defenses to every crime. A Parks Zeigler, PLLC traffic attorney can help you obtain the most favorable result possible in the circumstances.

What the Law Says About Failing to Report an Accident

Leaving the scene of an accident is a violation of the law, which requires drivers to remain at the scene and exchange information with other involved parties and the police. Drivers also must assist anyone injured in the accident.

The Code of Virginia § 46.2-894 makes it a crime to leave an accident that caused an injury to a person or damaged occupied property. The crime could be a felony if the accident resulted in death, injury, or damage to property exceeding $1000. It is a misdemeanor if the accident caused only property damage to less than $1000.

Even a passenger could face a hit-and-run charge. When a passenger is at least 16 years old, knows about the accident, and knows the driver did not report it, the passenger has a duty to report within 24 hours. Failing to do so could expose them to misdemeanor or felony charges. Anyone who was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an unreported accident should contact a Chesapeake criminal attorney immediately to mitigate potential penalties of a hit-and-run charge.

Legal Consequences of Failing to Report an Accident

A conviction for a hit-and-run in Chesapeake could lead to substantial penalties. The severity of the penalties depends on how serious the accident was, whether the accused was the driver or a passenger, and the accused’s criminal history. A conviction for failure to report an accident creates a criminal record.

Our team can help you explore all available defenses to defeat a charge for failing to report an accident. In an appropriate case, we may be able to arrange a plea to a lesser charge.

Damage to Unattended Property

A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident that caused minor damage of less than $250 to unattended property results in a fine of up to $250 and three points on the offender’s driver’s license. When damage exceeds $250, an offender faces up to a year in jail, a $2500 fine, and three points on their license. The same penalties apply when the damage exceeds $500 except that an offender receives four points on their license, and it could be suspended for up to six months.

Passengers who do not report these accidents face the same penalties as the driver.

Minor Damage to an Attended Vehicle

When someone fails to report an accident that caused less than $1000 in damage to an attended vehicle, they face a potential penalty of one year in jail, a $2500 fine, and four points on their driver’s license. If the damage exceeds $500, the driver also faces a six-month driver’s license suspension. A passenger would face the same penalties as the driver.

Major Damage to an Attended Vehicle, Injury, or Death

When someone leaves the scene after an accident that led to injuries, death, or damage to an attended vehicle exceeding $1000, the driver faces a Class 5 felony charge. The maximum penalty is prison for up to ten years, a $2500 fine, and license revocation for up to one year. The driver also will receive six points on their driver’s license.

A passenger who fails to report a serious accident faces a Class 6 felony charge. Penalties could include up to five years in prison.

Contact a Chesapeake Attorney When You Face Hit-and-Run Penalties

Failing to report an accident is a serious crime and hit-and-run penalties in Chesapeake are severe. A momentary bad judgment could lead to a felony charge and prison.

Do not risk an outsized consequence for a simple mistake. Contact the savvy criminal defense attorneys at Parks Zeigler, PLLC for help. Reach out as soon as you are charged or arrested.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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