Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Knowledgeable Phoenix Traffic Violations and Criminal Defense Attorney Skillfully Representing Clients Facing Hit-and-Run Charges

Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime in Arizona. The offense involves causing or being involved in an accident and then leaving the scene without stopping or exchanging your information with the other drivers. One of the reasons why hit-and-runs are taken so seriously is because leaving the scene of an accident means anyone injured in the collision doesn’t receive medical attention as quickly as they otherwise would, often leading to more severe injuries and, in some cases, preventable deaths.

Facing hit-and-run charges in Arizona can be overwhelming, especially if the victim’s injuries were severe—or worse. However, the Law Office of James E. Novak is here to help. Our Phoenix leaving the scene of an accident defense lawyer has successfully defended countless cases where our clients were charged with hit-and-run offenses. We also offer free consultations to all prospective clients, so there is no risk in calling to learn more about your options and get a professional opinion about your case.

Criminal Charges Related to Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Arizona has several laws on the books relating to leaving the scene of an accident. The severity of these charges depends mostly on whether there were any other vehicles involved, whether the vehicles were occupied and, if so, whether anyone inside was hurt. Below is a brief description of the most common crimes involving leaving the scene of an accident in Phoenix.

Hit and Run Accidents Involving Another Vehicle

If you’re involved in an accident—regardless of whether it was your fault—you’re required to wait at the scene, provide your information to anyone else involved in the accident, and help anyone who was hurt in the accident get medical care. Failing to meet these requirements will result in felony charges. More specifically, if the accident resulted in minor injuries, you’ll face a Class 5 felony. However, if someone was seriously injured or killed as a result, you’ll face a Class 3 felony unless you caused the accident, in which case the charge will be a Class 2 felony.

Note these punishments are consecutive to any other charges arising out of the incident. For example, if you were driving under the influence at the time, you could also face aggravated assault charges.

If convicted of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, your driver’s license will also be suspended for five years. If the accident was fatal, the suspension period increases to ten years.

Hit and Runs That Do Not Involve Injuries

If you hit another vehicle and no one is hurt, you still need to stop at the scene and exchange information with the other drivers. If you fail to do so, you may face a Class 2 Misdemeanor. If the vehicle was unoccupied, your obligation is to stop and try to locate the owner if you can. If not, you must leave a note with your name and address. Violating this law is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor. It is also a Class 3 misdemeanor to leave the scene of an accident resulting in property damage to something other than a vehicle.

Have You Been Arrested for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

If you were recently arrested on hit-and-run charges in Phoenix, it is essential that you fully understand the allegations against you and what is at stake. While minor hit-and-runs are misdemeanors, these offenses are always considered felonies if someone was hurt. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have extensive experience defending drivers charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Phoenix. We are immediately available to discuss your case in a free consultation. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with our Phoenix shoplifting lawyer today, call 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.

Client Reviews
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.