Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Illinois, and it carries the risk of severe penalty. Being involved in an accident while under the influence can increase the severity of those penalties. Yet this aggravating factor is pale in comparison to what could happen if you leave the scene of that accident (otherwise known as a hit-and-run accident). If you or someone you love is facing such charges, the following can help you understand what the potential consequences might be. It also explains how you may be able to mitigate them.
Hit-and-Run Property Damage Accidents
If you are in an accident that causes damage to he property of another and you then leave the scene without providing aid to the property owner or, at the very least, reporting the incident, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The Secretary of State may also suspend your license if the property damage exceeds $1,000. Depending on the situation, you may also be subject to additional charges related to your DUI. If, for example, you were caught on camera driving in a reckless or erratic manner, the prosecution may file additional charges against you.
Hit-and-Run Personal Injury Accidents
Driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident where someone was injured can result in a felony charge. The penalty and charge may be less severe if you turn yourself into the police within 30 minutes of the accident (making the charge a Class 4 felony), but you will most likely be subjected to chemical testing. This could ultimately result in having a DUI charge added to your case. On the other hand, not reporting the accident to the police within a timely manner can elevate the charge to a Class 2 felony, which carries heavier penalties. Further, waiting to go to the police does not necessarily excuse you from the possibility of chemical testing.
Fatal Hit-and-Run Accidents
Out of all the hit-and-run accident charges, those involving the death of another are the most severe. A Class 1 felony with possible DUI charges, the penalties could include long-term imprisonment, hefty fines, suspension of your license, and difficulty securing housing and employment once you are released. If you believe you may have been responsible for a fatal hit-and-run accident, it is critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer before speaking with the police.
Contact Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you love is facing charges for a DUI and/or hit-and-run accident, Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, can help. Aggressive and experienced, our Illinois criminal defense lawyer will take swift and immediate action to try and mitigate the charges in your case. In some situations, we may even be able to have the charges dismissed. Get the representation you need and deserve. Call 847-253-3400 and schedule a free consultation with us today.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.