If you are involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, Arizona law requires you to stop and provide your information to the other parties involved, as well as any further assistance if necessary. Failure to do so by leaving the scene of an accident means you can be charged with a hit and run, which can lead to serious punishments including:
- Jail or Prison Time
- Stiff Financial Penalties
- Suspension or Revocation of your Driver’s License
Being charged with a hit and run car accident can be very frightening, lead to higher insurance premiums, damage your driving record, and your personal and professional lives. If you find yourself charged with a hit and run in Phoenix, you should immediately seek out a competent, aggressive defense attorney to fight for your rights, and work to avoid these consequences.
What the Phoenix Hit and Run Law Says
According to Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S. 28-663, titled Duty to Give Information and Assistance, you are legally obligated to perform the following actions if you are involved in a car accident:
- Provide your name, address, and vehicle registration to the other driver or responding police officer
- Show the other driver or responding police officer your driver’s license if requested to do so
- Administer first aid to any motorist involved in the accident, or else call for medical help, if necessary
Should you leave the scene of the accident without performing these three obligations, you can face at minimum:
- · A class 3 misdemeanor, including up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail
If you have been involved in an accident where damage has occurred to one or more vehicles, and whether or not you caused the damage, it is important to understand that Phoenix law requires you to stop anyway (A.R.S. 28-662). Even if you are not able to immediately stop, you must return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible, and then perform the same duties listed above.
More Severe Penalties for More Severe Hit and Run Accidents
Should the accident be more serious, and you leave the scene without procuring medical help for another motorist, you can face (A.R.S. 28-661):
- A class 5 felony charge if the driver involved in an accident did not cause serious physical injury but left the scene without performing their legal duties
- A class 3 felony if a driver who is involved in an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury fails to stop
- A class 2 felony if a driver causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury and fails to stop
Each felony charge includes the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence and fines of up to $150,000, plus any surcharges and civil liabilities you might incur. To learn more about the penalties for these felony charges, please visit our felony information page.
Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney With Your Hit and Run Defense in Phoenix
We always recommend remaining at the scene of an accident and fulfilling your legally obligated duty to others no matter what. However, if for any reason you end up leaving without doing so, and then get charged with a hit and run crime, it is essential to consult a defense attorney with proven experience defending hit and run cases of all severities. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you are facing any kind of hit and run crime in Phoenix, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.