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Criminal Defense

Hit & Run: Why People Flee from the Scene of an Accident

Posted by on Jun 21, 2015 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Getting injured in a car accident that is a result of a driver’s negligence or carelessness is bad enough; it becomes worse, however, if that driver flees the scene and leaves you with nothing, save the injury and, probably, the traumatic experience which might play in your mind repeatedly.

Hit-and-run accidents are becoming a major concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For the past ten years this type of accident has only increased, causing a rise in the number of fatalities, severe injuries and property damages, at the same time.

In states where death is very high, the government’s response is tougher laws, more serious charges and harsher punishments. In Arizona, for instance, a five-year automatic suspension of the license of a driver who flees the scene of an accident is applied; the suspension becomes 10 years if death is linked to the accident – and these do not include time in jail yet.

In the state of Texas, intoxicated drivers who fail to render aid and flee from the scene of an accident can be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries with it up to 20 years imprisonment (before September 1, 2013, the charge was third-degree felony with a 10-year maximum prison term.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to helping save lives through traffic safety education and research, found that majority of hit-and-run accidents involved intoxicated drivers (based either on account of witnesses or from the guilty driver’s own confession after he or she has been caught).

But rather than due to criminal intent or total unconcern for the safety of others, the reasons given by many drivers, which included being very young to be charged with a serious offense, driving without a license, or having high blood alcohol content (BAC), all centered on fear of being charged with multiple serious offenses which, in turn, can very well affect their future. Thus, like in any kind of situation where one would find himself or herself in danger, the first thought is always to save oneself, thus their act of fleeing from the scene.

The possible long-term consequences of such serious charges can have harsh penalties on a driver’s future. Stay careful out there! Contact a  Columbia criminal defense lawyer for a consultation.

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