Leaving The Scene of a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer St. Louis, MO. Being in a car accident can be a traumatizing experience for anyone. Think about it: you’re going about your day without a care in the world, and then suddenly you rear-end someone at a stop sign or traffic light. Under normal circumstances, you and the other driver would pull over to a safe place, call the authorities, and exchange phone numbers and insurance information.
However, life does not always work that way, and occasionally instead of swapping information people may decide to simply drive away. This is illegal under Missouri law and St. Louis cops are on the lookout for people who have been involved in hit-and-run accidents. In addition to criminal penalties, leaving the scene of an accident can also result in your car insurance rates skyrocketing and potentially the suspension of your driving privileges.
Combs Law Group has helped many St. Louis residents from all walks of life who have left the scene of a car accident. Our firm understands that sometimes good people get into crisis situations and ensure that our clients are listened to and valued throughout the legal process. We fight zealously to ensure that you get the best outcome for your St. Louis hit and run case and are able to put a stressful episode behind you. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or fill out our online contact form for a free review of your case.
What Happens When I Leave The Scene of an Accident?
The law in Missouri is quite clear about what a St. Louis driver should do if they are ever in a car accident, no matter how small. Missouri Revised Statute 577.060 states that all parties in a car accident should stop and give the following information to each other and law enforcement:
- Their name
- Their home address
- The registration information for the vehicle involved in said accident
- Their drivers’ license number
Anyone who failed to do any one of these requirements can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. The minimum punishment for this offense is a class A misdemeanor, which carries with it a maximum fine of $2,000 and as much as one year’s jail time. However, if your accident was one where the assessed damage to another car was more than $1,000, or if it resulted in an injury to another person, you will be charged with a class E felony. This carries with it up to four years in state prison as well as a potential fine of up to $5,000. Repeat hit-and-run offenders are also charged with class E felonies. If the accident the accused was involved in resulted in a fatality, they will be charged with a class D felony, which has a recommended punishment of 1-7 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri also means that points will be put on your drivers’ license. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue’s point guidelines, the amount of points you receive depends on who pulled you over. If a St. Louis municipality or county police officer handled your case, you get six points put on your license. However, if the Missouri State Highway Patrol was involved and your case was tried at the state level, you will be hit with 12 points. Depending on your driving record, this means that your driving privileges may be suspended as a result of your Missouri hit-and-run case. If your case was tried on the state level, your license will automatically be revoked, as Missouri DOR rules state that anyone who accumulates 12 or more points in a 12-month period will lose their driving privileges for a calendar year.
Leaving the scene of an accident will also result in your car insurance premiums drastically increasing. In addition, you may also be required to purchase an SR-22 policy. This is a special auto insurance policy that goes on file with the Missouri Department of Revenue that proves that your insurance meets the minimum coverage required by law. Missouri requires drivers who have had their license suspended or revoked to carry an SR-22 policy for two years after their driving privileges are restored. While some insurance companies will easily add an SR-22 endorsement onto your existing policy, others may not even offer SR-22s or charge extra for the document.
Contact A Top St. Louis Hit-And-Run Lawyer
Combs Law Group is a highly-rated St. Louis criminal defense law firm that places communication and honesty at the center of all that we do. When you work with our firm, we promise that you will always be able to talk to an attorney about your case, never a paralegal or assistant. We take the time to listen to you and your situation and prepare a strong, unique defense strategy for your situation. We also work on the administrative side of our St. Louis leaving the scene of an accident cases to ensure that our clients can stay on the road in order to go to work and live their lives.
Our firm admits that we are not the cheapest criminal defense firm in St. Louis, but we are not the most expensive, either. We give personal attention to all our clients and work tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes for their cases. Contact us for a free, confidential conversation about your Missouri leaving the scene of an accident case and find out why Combs Law Group is proudly one of St. Louis’ highest-rated criminal defense law firms.