In Michigan, you have a duty to stop if involved in any car or vehicle accident. Failing to do so is a criminal offense of leaving the scene of an accident, commonly known as a hit and run charge.
Depending on the result of the accident you could be facing serious felony charges. Our experienced defense attorneys can help you find your way through the legal system and fight for your rights and fair results in court.
Michigan “Duty to Stop” after a Car Accident
There are certain things that Michigan state law requires you to do when you have been involved in an accident. You must stop as soon as safely possible and exchange information with the other driver. While it may be understood that you cannot stop in the middle of moving traffic on the freeway, you need to find the first opportunity to pull over or turn around and return to the scene.
What information do I have to give another driver after an accident?
- Your name and address
- Your vehicle registration number and insurance information
- Name and address of the owner of the vehicle (if not yours)
- Show your license if needed
If someone is injured, you are to give the assistance you can while you wait for emergency vehicles to arrive.
Hit and Run Legal Defense Strategies
It is very possible to accidentally hit another vehicle, or an object, and not think it was a significant impact, and therefore wasn’t a big deal.
In other circumstances, sometimes a person just isn’t sure what to do, or doesn’t feel like there is a safe place to stop by the side of a busy road. And sometimes, people just use bad judgement or panic.
Whatever happened, as your attorney, it is my job to explain the situation in court, and resolve the case with no serious penalties. Often that involves establishing that no serious harm was done, and if there was any minor damage, all parties are fully covered by insurance, or the case is otherwise resolved favorably and successfully.
Call me to discuss specific strategies that might apply in your exact situation, if you may be accused of leaving the scene of an accident. My advice is confidential.
Michigan Hit and Run Penalties
The type of charge and sentence you face depends on the circumstances of the accident you left.
|Hit & Run / Accident Type||MI Statute||Criminal Penalties|
|Caused injury to another person||MDL 257.617a||Misdemeanor charges: up to one year in prison and $1,000 in
fines and license suspension.
|Caused damage to a vehicle||MDL 257.618||Misdemeanor charges: up to 90 days in jail and up to $100.00
in fines and license suspension.
|Caused serious bodily injury or death to another person||MDL 257.617||Felony charges: up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in
Not reporting an accident to the police and insurance companies can also hurt your insurance coverage. Your insurance company will see this oversight as a blatant disregard.
Although the initial fear of a rate increase may drive you to not want to report the accident to your insurance company, if it is later found that you were in an accident and failed to report it, your insurance company may drop your policy all together.
If you hit a car that is unattended, you must make an effort to notify the owner, by either locating them or by reporting it to the most convenient police officer.
It is quite common for cars to get hit in parking lots and never get reported. This is a misdemeanor hit and run criminal charge in Michigan.