In Minnesota, the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident is legally obligated to stop their vehicle as soon as possible and return to the scene of the accident. If you have been charged with a hit and run offense, contact criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, Gerald Miller, to get the answers to your questions and help you navigate your case.
At the scene of the accident, the driver must supply the following information to a police officer as well as any other driver involved in the accident:
- Date of birth; and
- Registration plate number of the vehicle being driven.
If the driver collides with and damages any unattended vehicle the driver must:
- Reasonably attempt to locate the other driver; or
- Notify the police; or
- Leave contact information for the other owner.
Failure to return to the scene of an accident or report the accident may result in a hit and run offense.
Are There Any Defenses to a Hit and Run Charge?
Defending a hit and run charge can be very difficult for a number of reasons. However, there are a limited number of defenses an experienced attorney like Gerald Miller PA can use.
You can attempt to introduce reasonable doubt about whether you in fact committed the hit and run. This defense is most applicable when the police do not have a license plate number or any general information putting you at the scene.
However, if the police can place you at the scene you can attempt to prove that the accident was not your fault. While this may not be advantageous to help you avoid a fleeing the scene of an accident charge, it can help you avoid other, more serious charges.
Hit and Run Consequences
In Minnesota, a hit and run charge can be a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony depending on the details surrounding the offense.
A misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
A hit and run accident causing substantial bodily harm is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and/or $3000 in fines. Substantial bodily harm is an injury which causes a temporary but serious disfigurement or fracture.
A hit and run accident causing great bodily harm is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or $4000 in fines. Great bodily harm is an injury which creates a high chance of death or permanent disfigurement.
Additionally, a driver may be charged with a felony if they are involved in an accident that results in the death of an individual. A conviction will carry a sentence of up to three years in prison and/or $5000 in fines.
Hit and Run Driver’s License Sanctions
Failure to report any accident in accordance with the Minnesota statute can lead to a suspension of your driver’s license.
Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minneapolis?
If you are being prosecuted for a hit and run charge having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis is critical. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years’ experience helping people obtain the best possible results for any traffic violation. Contact us today at 612-341-9080 for a free consultation