Arizona Hit and Run Laws – Leaving the Scene of an Accident
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In Arizona, as with all states, a person is legally obligated to stop if they are in a motor vehicle accident. No matter how much damage was done, if you fail to stop you can be charged with a crime. These accidents can involve other cars, pedestrians, cyclists and personal property.
As a criminal defense attorney in the Greater Phoenix area, Todd Coolidge has handled many hit and run cases in Arizona. Of course, our initial advice is to stay at the scene, take a few deep breaths, and stay as calm as possible. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may want to call a lawyer who can help guide you through how to legally respond before the police arrive.
Arizona Car Crash Statistics
The following are a few Arizona car crash statistics from 2018 according to the Arizona Department of Transportation:
- There were a total of 127,056 car crashes in 2018.
- 916 (less than 1%) of those crashes resulted in a fatality, with 1,010 people dying.
- That means approximately 2.77 persons were killed each day.
- Hit and run accidents accounted for 14,536 of the total number of car crashes in 2018.
- 73 people were killed in hit and run crashes.
Hit and Run Involving Damage to Another Vehicle
No matter how minor the damage is to another vehicle in the event of an accident, you not only have a requirement to stop, but also a duty to give information and assistance. That duty entails the following actions:
- Show your driver’s license if requested by the other driver
- Provide your name, address and registration information to the other driver
- Provide car insurance details if requested by the other driver
- Provide first aid, assistance, and/or contact the appropriate medical emergency personnel if necessary
Punishment for a Hit and Run Involving Vehicular Damage in Arizona
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 28-662, If you fail to stop or provide the necessary information or assistance, you can be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor and face up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. Additionally, a court may order the department to suspend the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of a person convicted under this section for one year.
Hit and Run Involving Death or Personal Injury
When a car accident involves death or personal injury, fear and panic can set off a fight or flight instinct that may cause a person to flee the scene of the crime even if they would normally never do such a thing. If you’ve left the scene of an accident that involved a fatality or personal injury and failed to return in a timely manner, the penalties can be quite severe.
Punishment for a Hit and Run Involving Death or Personal Injury in Arizona
The potential consequences of hit and run accidents involving death or serious injury are outlined in ARS 28-661 as such:
- If the victim suffers serious physical injury other than death, you may face a Class 5 felony and up to 1.5 years in prison.
- If the accident results in a death or serious injury you may be charged with a Class 3 felony and up to 3.5 years in prison.
- If you caused the accident that resulted in a fatality the charge will be increased to involuntary manslaughter, which is a class 2 felony with a minimum of 7 years in prison.
Get Your Charges Reduced with Coolidge Law
Are you facing charges of hit and run of any kind in Arizona? Contact Todd Coolidge immediately to get your free case review and allow a certified criminal law specialist to walk you through this difficult and sobering time. Our team will work tirelessly to get your felony or misdemeanor charges reduced.