Chicago Hit and Run Lawyer
If you cause an accident that leads to damage, injury, or death you may face criminal charges under certain conditions. According to Illinois Law, those who cause an accident are required to stop and render assistance to a reasonable extent. In an accident, drivers are also required to exchange contact and insurance information. If you leave the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage or injury, you can be charged with a hit and run. This crime carries serious penalties, such as fines, jail time, and in some cases, prison.
If you have been accused of leaving the scene of an accident, you may feel as if you are being unfairly punished. Perhaps you did not see any damage before you left, or maybe you acted purely out of panic. Chicago hit and run lawyer Michael O’Meara Law has practiced law for over 20 years and has the knowledge and experience to give your case the best possible chance of success.
To find out how you can avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction, call a Chicago traffic lawyer with O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706 today.
How Does Illinois Define Hit and Run?
In the state of Illinois, a hit and run occurs when you leave the scene of an accident that caused property damage or an injury. This charge can be applied in even the most minor of incidents. Imagine, for example, that you scrape another person’s car in a parking lot. You may not have even noticed the accident, but damage may have been done to the other person’s vehicle. In this case, failing to stop, render assistance, and exchange information could possibly lead to hit and run charges.
Leaving the Scene May Be a Misdemeanor or Felony
Hit and runs can be charged at different levels depending on the circumstances. If you leave the scene of an accident in which only property damage has occurred, the offense is a misdemeanor. But when a person is injured or killed, hit and run is a felony.
The criminal penalties associated with hit and run include:
- Hit and Run Involving Property Damage (Class A Misdemeanor) – A fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail
- Hit and Run Involving a Minor or Serious Injury (Class 4 Felony) – A fine of up to $25,000 and up to three years in prison
- Hit and Run Involving a Fatality (Class 3 Felony) – A fine of up to $25,000 and up to five years in state prison.
If you are convicted of fleeing the scene of an accident, you will face collateral consequences in addition to your criminal sentence:
- Expense of getting your driving privileges reinstated
- Loss of your current job because of your absenteeism or inability to drive
- Inability to get a new job because of your criminal or driving record
- For felons, revoked right to own or possess a firearm
- For non-citizens, possible deportation
How O’Meara Law Can Help
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, you should immediately seek the help of an experienced Chicago defense attorney who can help you avoid being convicted. One effective strategy is proving that you were completely unaware of the accident in question. It may also be possible to prove that your rights were violated at the time of your arrest. If you were abused by police, or if your arrest did not follow protocol, it may be possible to get your charges immediately thrown out.
If you have been charged with a crime, you deserve to have your rights protected. At O’Meara Law, we’ve helped many people avoid guilty verdicts in high-stakes cases.
Call O’Meara Law today 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation about your options.