Hit and Run

Phoenix Hit and Run Attorney

Criminal Defense for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Arizona law requires motorists not only to safely operate their vehicles in order to reduce risks of collisions – it also requires them to stop and remain at the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene of a crash is a criminal offense, and it poses severe criminal penalties that can be elevated when aggravating circumstances are involved, including serious injuries or death.

If you or someone you love has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, also referred to as hit and run, you need to understand that the penalties at stake can threaten your future. By acting fast to contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney at Knowles Law Firm, PLC, you can gain the support and representation needed to challenge the government’s case against you, and pursue the most favorable outcome possible – whether that means a dismissal of charges, or reduced charges and penalties.

Why Knowles Law Firm, PLC?

  • Former Prosecutors / Former AZ Police Officer
  • Decades of Combined Criminal Defense Experience
  • Attorneys Recognized Among Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona
  • Personalized Service & Attention

Learn how our firm can fight to protect your freedom and future. Contact us for a FREE consultation.

Drivers’ Obligations

Arizona law, under ARS § 28-663 (Duty to Give Information and Assistance), outlines a driver’s legal obligations following any type of accident. Per law, a driver in Arizona must stop at the scene of a crash and:

  • Provide information (name, contact info, vehicle registration) to other parties involved and / or any responding law enforcement officer.
  • Present their driver’s license to other involved parties and / or law enforcement officers.
  • Provide assistance to other injured parties, when necessary, by rendering aid or calling emergency help.

Hit and Run Charges & Penalties in Arizona

Depending on the individual facts and circumstances involved, drivers who leave the scene of an accident and fail to meet their obligations as required by law can face various charges and penalties. These include:

  • Failing to render aid / provide information – Failing to provide information or assistance following an accident can subject drivers to Class 3 misdemeanor charges – punishable by fines and up to 30 days in jail.
  • Parked vehicles / non-vehicle property – Drivers who leave the scene after hitting a parked vehicle or damaging property other than a vehicle (such as a mailbox), and who fail to locate the owner or leave a note providing their information, may also face Class 3 misdemeanor charges.
  • Damage to a vehicle – If your accident involved only damage to another vehicle, and no physical injuries, ARS 28-662 requires you to stop at the scene, or immediately return to the scene if you are unable to stop, and provide information and assistance when necessary. Fleeing the scene of an accident involving vehicle damage is a Class 2 misdemeanor – punishable by fines and up to four months in jail.
  • Injury or death – Fleeing the scene of an accident that results in serious physical injury or death is the most serious hit and run offense. As a class 2 felony, this crime is punishable by a minimum of three years in state prison, and up to 12.5 years if aggravating circumstances were involved (or probation with up to 1 year in jail in some cases). Drivers also face a 10-year revocation of their driver’s license. If a driver who fled the scene was involved in a crash involving serious injury or death but did not cause the accident, they can be charged with a Class 3 felony, which is punishable by a 5-year driver’s license revocation and between 2 to 8.75 years in state prison, or probation with up to 1 year in jail. Non-serious injuries may subject drivers to Class 5 felony charges, punishable by a minimum of nine months’ imprisonment.

Charges and penalties may vary if there are aggravating circumstances present in a case, including prior convictions and previous felonies, or when a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI hit and run can result in charges for both DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, and sentences associated with those convictions must be served consecutively. This means that if a driver was sentenced to 2 years for leaving the scene and 2.5 years for DUI, they serve a total of 5.5 years in prison. When aggravating circumstances are involved, life-altering penalties increase the need for experienced legal representation.

Free Consultation with a Hit and Run Lawyer in Phoenix

Because leaving the scene of an accident can subject drivers to serious penalties, under both misdemeanor and felony charges, securing the help of a proven criminal defense lawyer should be your top priority. Following an arrest, our legal team can discuss your situation in depth, immediately begin investigating the circumstances of your accident, and explore your potential defense and negotiation options. Because time is of the essence when facing serious criminal charges, we encourage you to make the call today.

Contact us for a FREE and confidential consultation. We serve clients throughout Maricopa County and the surrounding areas of Arizona from offices in Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

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Attorney Anthony Knowles

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