Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit and Run
The duty of drivers in Pennsylvania to give information and render aid following a motor vehicle accident is established under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3744. When a motorist leaves the scene of a crash without fulfilling this duty, it is commonly referred to as a “hit and run” accident.
Hit and run offenses may be charged as misdemeanors when they involve property damage only, but crashes causing serious bodily injury or death will often result in felony charges. In some cases, the alleged offenders are completely unaware that they were involved in collisions.
Attorney for Hit and Run Arrests in West Chester, PA
If you think that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of a car accident in southeastern Pennsylvania, it is in your best interest to say absolutely nothing to authorities until you have legal counsel.
Ciccarelli Law Offices aggressively defends clients accused of various traffic offenses in Chester County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, and the greater Philadelphia area.
Our West Chester criminal defense lawyers work as a team to help people possibly get their criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Call (610) 692-8700 to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Pennsylvania Hit and Run Crimes Information Center
- What are motorists required to do after accidents in Pennsylvania?
- How can people be punished if convicted of hit and run crimes?
- Where can I learn more about hit and run in West Chester?
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3744 establishes that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which was driven or attended by any person must give all of the following information to any person injured in the accident or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the accident:
- His or her name;
- Address; and
- The registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving.
Upon request, the driver should also exhibit his or her driver’s license and information relating to financial responsibility to any person injured in the accident or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the accident.
Such drivers are also required to render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including making arrangements to assist the injured person in getting to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if requested by the injured person.
When none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled and no police officer is present, the driver should report the accident to the nearest office of a duly authorized police department and submit the aforementioned information to the police department after fulfilling all other requirements.
Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3743, a driver commits a third-degree misdemeanor if he or she fails to fulfill the obligations of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3744 after being involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle or other property, which is driven or attended by any person.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3742(b)(1) establishes that it is a first-degree misdemeanor if a driver fails to fulfill the obligations of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3744 after being involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of any person.
If the alleged victim suffers serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of the crash without fulfilling the obligations of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3744 is a third-degree felony under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3742(b)(2).
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3742(b)(3) makes it a second-degree felony if an alleged offender leaves the scene of the crash without fulfilling the obligations of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3744 and the alleged victim dies.
A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident can carry very serious consequences. The maximum sentences allowable will depend on how the offense was graded, but is generally punishable as follows:
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fine of up to $2,500;
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to five years in jail and fine of up to $10,000;
- Third-Degree Felony — Minimum of 90 days up to seven years in prison and mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 up to $15,000; and
- Second-Degree Felony — Minimum of three years up to 10 years in prison and mandatory minimum fine of $2,500 up to $25,000.
In addition to the punishments listed above, people convicted of hit and run offenses can also have their driver’s licenses suspended and have points added to their Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) point system record.
Transportation Accidents | Chester County, PA — As this section of the Chester County website notes, the county has been experiencing an increase in vehicular traffic. The website explains that heavy traffic daily as a result of commuters, large numbers of resident motorists, and travelers on Interstate 76 as well as increasing urbanization and tourist trade contribute to the county’s increasing vulnerability to the hazards of motor vehicle traffic.
County of Chester
313 West Market St.
West Chester, PA 19380
NHTSA | Safety in Numbers | August 2013 The Problem — NHTSA is the federal agency “responsible for keeping people safe on America’s roadways.” As this section of the NHTSA website notes, nearly one in five (19 percent) of pedestrian fatalities are the result of hit and run accidents. Visit this website to find tips to help keep pedestrians safe.
Ciccarelli Law Offices | West Chester Hit and Run Defense Lawyer
Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation for allegedly leaving the scene of a crash in southeastern Pennsylvania? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have first contacted Ciccarelli Law Offices.
Our criminal defense attorneys in West Chester have office locations in Radnor, Plymouth Square, Springfield, Malvern, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, and Kennett Square. They can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (610) 692-8700 or submit an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.