Many people would agree that you should stop and address the situation if you are in a traffic accident. The majority of crashes can result in some sort of damage, whether it is property damage or bodily injury. If you get into any type of vehicle accident, it is always a good idea to stop and call the police, especially if the other person does not want to cooperate with you or provide insurance information. In most cases, you are legally required to stop and report the situation to the police, and fleeing the scene of the accident is illegal. Failure to stop after an accident can result in you being charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on the situation.
Even if you are involved in a car accident that does not involve injury to another person, you are still required to stop. By law, you are required to provide the other driver with your name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information. You do not have to remain in the exact spot where you collided with the other driver, especially if you are blocking traffic. You are able to move your vehicle as long as it is safe to do so, but you still must exchange information with the other driver.
If you do not exchange information in a property damage-only accident in Illinois, you risk being charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This means you could face up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. If the damage to the other person’s vehicle is estimated to be worth more than $1,000, then the Secretary of State’s office may suspend your driver’s license.
The consequences are much more serious if you flee from an accident that involves the injury or death of another person. The law states that you must immediately stop, exchange information, and/or provide reasonable help to the injured motorist. You must also call 911 if the other driver needs medical attention. Even if you do not call 911, you are still required by law to report the accident to the police within 30 minutes after the accident.
If you leave the scene of an accident that involves death or bodily injury, you face a Class 4 felony charge, which can carry penalties of up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. If you do not report the accident to police, and there were no fatalities, you face Class 2 felony charges, carrying three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. If there was a death involved, and you did not report the accident, you face a Class 1 felony, carrying four to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
If you have been in an auto accident, you may have been scared and unsure of what to do. For some people, their first reaction is to flee from the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. Though this may be some drivers’ first instinct, you can find yourself in a lot of trouble if you leave the scene of an accident without reporting it to the police. If you have been charged with fleeing a crash site, you need help from a skilled Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has decades of experience helping clients navigate criminal charges. Call our office today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.
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.