In Utah, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense. Depending on the damage caused by the hit and run accident, your charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. For example, if you injure a person and flee the scene of the accident, you will likely be charged with a felony. If you or a family member was charged with a hit and run offense in Utah, you should speak with a Salt Lake City hit and run lawyer today.
Darwin Overson has served clients in Salt Lake City and across Utah and is prepared to serve you. The legal professionals at Overson Law have extensive experience dealing with various types of criminal issues and traffic offenses, and we will use that experience to help you fight your case. To schedule a free consultation for your hit and run case, contact our law offices online, or call us at (801) 758-2287.
Leaving the Scene of the Accident Laws in Utah
Utah Code Title 41, Part 4 discusses the types of hit and run accidents a defendant can be charged with. Utah has three types of hit and run statutes that determine a driver’s obligations after a car accident:
- Leaving the scene of a crash with property damage only,
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or serious bodily injury, and
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
If you crashed your vehicle into another person’s property, you have the legal duty to remain at the scene to exchange information and contact the police. If an accident caused property damage of $1,500 or more and you fled the scene, you will be charged with a hit and run with property damage only. While the property damaged is usually another vehicle, this law also applies to damages to stationary objects, like a fence.
If you are in a collision with another person’s property and that person is present at the time, you must provide that person with your information. This information includes your name, driver’s license, address, registration for your vehicle, and the name of your insurance carrier. If the owner of the property is not present when the accident happens, you can choose to leave your information in a conspicuous place on their car or property. You may also contact law enforcement and provide them with your information.
Similarly, if you caused an accident that resulted in bodily injury or death, you must remain at the scene of the accident and provide your information to law enforcement or the injured party. Utah law also requires that you contact emergency medical services if you believe it is necessary or the injured party requests medical treatment.
If you leave the scene of an accident without fulfilling the duties listed above, you can be charged with a criminal offense.
Penalties for Hit and Run Crashes
There are varying penalties for hit and run charges in Utah. Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage only is a class C misdemeanor. A class C misdemeanor in Utah may come with up to 90 days in prison and up to $750 in fines. This charge will remain a class C misdemeanor regardless of whether the property was attended or unattended.
Fleeing the scene of an accident involving bodily injury is a class A misdemeanor. In Utah, class A misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines. However, if you flee the scene of an accident after causing another person “serious bodily injury,” this charge may be escalated to a third degree felony. “Serious bodily injury” means an injury that could result in death, extreme physical pain, disfigurement, or a loss of bodily functions. A third degree felony carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
If you believe that you have committed a hit and run accident, you should retain an experienced attorney to represent you in your case. It may take Salt Lake City law enforcement hours or weeks to investigate the hit and run, but eventually, they may arrive at your door to interrogate you about the accident. It is always in your best interest to have an attorney handle these kinds of discussions on your behalf.
Our Salt Lake City, Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Help You Fight Your Hit and Run Case
If you or a family member committed a hit and run in Utah, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney. Darwin Overson understands how stressful criminal proceedings are and is here to guide you through your hit and run case. With over 16 years of criminal law experience, Darwin will fight for the legal outcome that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (801) 758-2287.