Columbia Hit and Run Lawyer

Under state law, any driver who gets into a collision with another vehicle has certain responsibilities they must fulfill with regard to aiding injured individuals and providing necessary information to involved parties and/or law enforcement. Failing to abide by these requirements could result not only in increased insurance premiums and other personal repercussions, but also substantial criminal penalties.

Allegations of “hit and run” are always serious matters, so you should always seek assistance from a knowledgeable defense attorney if you find yourself facing charges of this nature. A skilled Columbia hit and run lawyer could tirelessly protect your rights throughout every stage of the proceedings and work diligently to secure the best possible resolution to your situation.

Misdemeanor Hit and Run Charges in Columbia

South Carolina Code of Laws §56-5-1250 states that any driver who strikes a road sign, mailbox, or any other fixture near a road or street must take “reasonable steps” to locate the owner of any damaged property, notify them of the incident, and provide their driver’s license number and contact information if requested to do so. S.C. Code §56-5-1240 establishes similar requirements for drivers who strike and damage unoccupied vehicles. Failure to take reasonable action to notify property owners of incidents like this is a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail, $100 in fines, and potentially other costs as well.

Under S.C. Code §§56-5-1220 and 56-5-1230, a driver who gets in an accident with an occupied vehicle must immediately stop their own vehicle at the scene, render aid to anyone who needs it, and provide the same key identifying information that they would for an incident involving an unoccupied vehicle or damage to personal property. The severity of a hit and run charge in this situation depends on the level of damage done.

The offense is still a misdemeanor if the wreck results only in property damage and/or minor physical injury. As a Columbia hit and run attorney could affirm, this is a serious offense punishable by a maximum one-year term of imprisonment plus a fine of between $100 and $5,000.

When Does Fleeing the Scene Become a Felony Offense?

If someone improperly leaves the scene of an auto accident that causes serious or fatal injury to anyone else involved, they have committed a felony offense under S.C. Code §56-5-1210. A conviction for hit and run from a wreck that resulted in serious injury could lead to maximum penalties of 10 years’ imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.

Finally, hit and run from an accident that leads directly to another person’s death is punishable by a maximum 25-year prison sentence as well as a $25,000 maximum fine. Anyone convicted of prematurely leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury is also subject to having their driver’s license revoked, as a hit and run lawyer in Columbia could explain in more detail.

Contact a Columbia Hit and Run Attorney for Help

When someone does not follow the rules set out by state law for conduct immediately following a motor vehicle accident, they may face consequences far beyond the physical and financial damage done by the incident itself. Depending on how badly someone else involved was hurt, a driver who leaves the scene prematurely could face felony charges punishable by multiple years behind bars.

Contesting a hit and run allegation could be much easier with support from an experienced Columbia hit and run lawyer. Call today to learn more.