Motorcycle and Car Accident

After a car accident, you have to stay if you were involved in the wreck. Passengers in your car may be able to leave, but you can't unless you want to have a warrant put out for your arrest on hit-and-run charges. If this does happen, it's important to know the different between felony and misdemeanor charges.

Someone Is Hurt or Killed

If the accident is serious and someone is hurt or killed in the wreck, you can get felony charges for leaving the scene. These come with harsh sentences, and felonies generally stay on your record, sometimes keeping you from getting certain jobs or utilizing other rights -- like the right to buy a firearm -- after you get out.

Everyone Is Fine

If everyone is all right after the crash, but there's still property damage, your charges for leaving the scene typically drop to a misdemeanor. This is still serious and you shouldn't drive off after the wreck, but you're not going to face nearly as harsh of a sentence if people were not hurt. This is an important distinction, for example, in accidents where a drunk driver hits a parked car and then leaves the scene.

The Sentences

So, if you do leave the scene, what type of sentence should you expect? It does differ from one state to the next, but you're generally looking at no more than a year in jail and $1,000 in fines for misdemeanor charges. For felony charges, you could be looking at $10,000 in fines and a far longer prison term.

Hit and Run Accusations

As you can see, being accused of a hit and run is incredibly serious, especially if there were injuries in the accident. If this has happened to you, it's critical to know all of the defense options you have before you step foot in court. After all, the results of the case could shape the rest of your life.