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Hit and Run Charges in Arizona – Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Accidents are stressful events, no matter what the circumstances are. A hit-and-run is one of the most serious crashes in Arizona, as defined under the state’s legislation ARS 28-662.

When a motorist impacts another car, person, or property and then flees the scene of an accident, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony hit and run depending on the circumstances. 

Following an accident in Arizona, you must stop and share information with the other party, as well as alert the appropriate authorities.

If you are the victim or defendant in one of these accidents, you should contact a hit and run lawyer at Colburn Hintze Maletta.

Regardless of your role, you have rights which our attorneys will discuss during your free consultation.

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Hit and Run Statistics in Arizona

Car accidents are way too common in Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there have been an average of 15,000 of these accidents in the last several years.

Fortunately, the majority of hit-and-run accidents only cause property damage. Victims of these crashes are seldom killed or seriously injured.

The most common victims of hit-and-run accidents are pedestrians and bicycles. Due to the pile-up, it is often practically impossible for the defendant to flee the scene in these cases.

Common Reasons Why Someone Might Leave the Scene of an Accident

There are a variety of reasons why a motorist would flee the scene of an accident. The following is a list of the most prevalent reasons for hit and runs.

  • The motorist is inebriated or under the influence. They do not want to risk further prison time as a result of a DUI conviction.
  • The driver’s license has been suspended. They do not want to go to jail for driving on a suspended license.
  • The driver is not covered by car insurance. Driving without insurance in Arizona may result in penalties.
  • The driver is wanted on an outstanding warrant. They do not want to be arrested by the police.
  • The vehicle the driver is driving is stolen.

What are the Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

If any form of vehicular accident has occurred, it is required by Arizona law that the person who is responsible for the accident remain at the scene. They must communicate with the other party and call the appropriate authorities. Both the victim and the defendant may need medical care as a result of their injuries.

If the motorist flees the scene of the accident, they may be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony hit and run.

If the motorist flees the scene of the accident, they may be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony hit and run. The different penalties for a misdemeanor hit and run or a felony leaving the scene of an accident can be severe.

Accidents that just cause property damage have the fewest serious repercussions. If the motorist causes serious injury or death to the victim, they will face harsher consequences, including long prison terms.

What if Only Property Damage Was Caused in a Hit and Run?

The most typical sort of hit-and-run collision involves merely property damage. You can be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor and face up to 6 months in jail, 3 years of probation, and a fine of up to $2,500 if you hit property and do not take reasonable steps to locate and notify the person in charge of the property of the accident, your name and address, and your vehicle information.

Accidental Damage to a Parked Car

You must leave personal information behind if you strike a parked car. You may include your contact information, insurance information, and vehicle identification number.

Leave a message on the windshield if the victim is nowhere near their car. You should start by looking for the driver. It is preferable to guarantee that the victim receives the necessary information.

If you do not disclose your personal information after colliding with a parked car, you might be punished with a Class 1 Misdemeanor 

If you do not disclose your personal information after colliding with a parked car, you might be punished with a Class 1 Misdemeanor and face up to three years on probation. You might face a fine of up to $2,50. It is better to complete your homework.

A Single Car Accident that Only Causes Vehicle Damage

A motorist who flees the scene after colliding with a moving car may be charged with a class one misdemeanor. This clause only applies to defendants who do not cause injury to the struck vehicle’s driver.

When two drivers collide while driving, each must stop and disclose personal information. Accidents at stoplights and stop signs are also included in this fee.

You could spend up to six months in jail if you are charged with a class one misdemeanor. Three years of probation and a fine of up to $2,500 plus surcharges are other possible punishments.

A Car Accident that Only Causes Minor Injuries

After inflicting a non-serious injury, you will be charged with hit and run, which is a class five felony. Again, the victim will be alive and will not have any major medical issues.

Again, both sets of drivers must come to a halt and exchange personal information. Contact information, registration numbers, and insurance information should all be exchanged. They will be charged with a class five felony if they do not cease.

Non-serious injuries may result in a sentence of up to 2.5 years in prison or up to 3 years of probation with up to 1 year of county jail time as part of the sentence. Your driver’s license might be suspended for up to three years.

 

Serious Injury or Death as a Result of an Accident

After a hit-and-run accident that results in major damage or death, the most serious repercussions arise. In Arizona, defendants must come to a halt, exchange information, and, if feasible, provide assistance. They should call for help and remain with the sufferer.

If a motorist fails to stop after causing significant harm or death, they will face charges of a class two felony.

For these offenses, you may face up to 12.5 years in jail and a ten-year suspension of your driver’s license.

What if I was 100% At-Fault for the Accident?

You might face a class three felony if you were not the cause of the accident but were involved in a hit and run. If feasible, you must still supply the victim with your personal information. You must also assist others wherever possible.

In Arizona, class three felonies may result in up to 8.75 years in prison. If there was a major injury, you might lose your driver’s license for up to five years, and up to ten years if there was a death. 

Common Punishments for Hit-and-Run Accidents

See the chart below for an outline of the consequences you might face if you are charged with hit and run.

 

Types of Damages from the Accident Penalties for the Hit and Run Accident Arizona Statute
Damage to a non-vehicle Jail time of 180 days, 3 years of probation, fine of $2500 ARS 28-665
Damage to a parked vehicle Jail time of 180 days, 3 years of probation, fine of $2500 ARS 28-664
Solely damage to the property Jail time of 180 days, 3 years of probation, fine of $2500 ARS 28-662
Non-serious injuries Prison time of up to 2.5 years or more with a prior felony, driver’s license loss for up to three years ARS 28-661
Serious injury or death (if you are not the defendant) Up to 8.75 years in prison with no prior felonies, driver’s license loss for up to five years ARS 28-661
Serious injury or death (if you are the defendant) Up to 12.5 years in prison with a prior conviction, driver’s license loss for up to 10 years ARS 28-661

What To Do If You Leave an Accident Scene?

You still have rights if you leave the scene of an accident. Defendants often act hastily, without considering the implications.

You’re probably terrified of retaliation from the victim. Moving your car to a secure location may be difficult at times. If the victim believes you are unwilling to stop, they may pull away. You may also leave the scene of an accident for other reasons, such as road rage or a medical emergency.

Leaving the site of an accident is a severe scenario under any circumstance. Colburn Hintze Maletta recommends contacting a criminal defense counsel as soon as feasible. We can assist you in understanding your rights and obtaining the best possible outcomes.

 

Defense to leaving the scene 

A defense to leaving the scene is that the State cannot prove who was driving the automobile.  It is not enough that the vehicle was registered to a person.  The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt who was driving the automobile.

Colburn Hintze Maletta Can Help Defend Charges of a Hit and Run

The hit and run defense attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you develop a strategic plan for your case, starting with a free consultation to get started.

Whatever the case may be, we are here to help you. Call us at (602) 825-2500 today and tell us your side.

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I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

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I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

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Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

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Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

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I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

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