Hit and Run Charge
A hit and run charge (also referred to as failing to stop after an accident on public roads or highways) can lead to serious consequences, such as license suspensions, jail time, and the need for high-risk insurance. At Akamine Law, we recognize the severity of serious driving offenses and the challenges encountered if your license is suspended.
What is the difference between an “attended” and an “unattended” hit and run?
Hit and Run “Unattended”
Hit and run unattended is defined as striking a parked and unoccupied or “unattended” vehicle, then leaving the scene without locating and/or notifying the owner. Hit and run unattended is a misdemeanor charge in Ohio and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1000.
Hit and Run “Attended”
The offense of hit and run attended is defined as striking an occupied or “attended” vehicle then fleeing the scene without providing the other driver with your name, address, and insurance company. If the incident doesn’t result in an injury, the offense is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000.
Under certain circumstances the penalties for failing to stop after an accident can be more severe:
- If the accident results in serious physical harm, the offense is a felony of the 5th degree;
- If the alleged offender knew the accident caused serious physical harm, the offense is a felony of the 4th degree;
- If the alleged offender knew the accident caused death of a person, the offense is a felony of the 2nd degree.
The enhanced penalties listed above can result in prison sentences ranging from 6 months to 8 years, terms of community control (commonly referred to as “probation”) for up to five years, restitution to victims, and significant fines.
If you are convicted of hit and run a court must impose a license suspension of at least 6 months up to 3 years. The court is not permitted to suspend the first six months of the suspension. A suspension may be avoided if a negotiation results in the amendment of charges to an offense that does not carry a mandatory suspension (i.e. failing to stop after an accident involving damage to realty or personal property attached to real property). It is important to have an attorney familiar with these nuances.
Can I be charged with other offenses?
It is not uncommon for the charge of hit and run to be connected with other charges such as DUI or Reckless Driving. At Akamine law, we are prepared to fight all charges filed against you. Call today for your free case review and have an experienced hit and run lawyer on your side.
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