Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a serious traffic offense – the seriousness of which is elevated when the accident involves injury to an person, particularly serious bodily injury. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without first providing your name, address, registration information, and your driver’s license (should it be requested). One must also identify themselves as the driver unless the identity of the driver is clearly apparent.
An accident involving only property damage is the least serious and constitutes a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. An accident involving only minor injury constitutes a class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail.
Earlier this year, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 12-1084, which significantly elevates the penalties for the offense should the accident result in serious bodily injury to any person. In such circumstances, the case is elevated to a class 4 felony (whereas previously it would only have constituted a class 5 felony). A class 4 felony is punishable by a sentence of 2 to 6 years in prison.
Should the accident result in a death, the offense constitutes a class 3 felony which is punishable by a sentence of 4 to 12 years in prison.
Additionally, Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a twelve point offense; if convicted, you face a loss of your driving privileges along with a habitual traffic offender strike.
If you have been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately to discuss your case.