Yes, a hit and run accident that causes death or serious physical injury is considered a felony. The charges might vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. However, a hit and run accident is considered a class 2 felony where there is death or serious physical injury. If the defendant fled the scene of the crime but didn't cause the accident in the first place, he/she will be charged with a class 3 felony. On the other hand, a class 5 felony is charged if the hit and run doesn't cause serious physical injury or death. Note that, if you're involved in any vehicular accident with property damage., after which you flee the scene, you can be charged with class 3 misdemeanor. In addition to the criminal penalties such as jail or prison time and fines, the driver's license can be suspended or revoked.
What To Do Once You're Involved In A Vehicular AccidentFirst, provide your full name, address and registration to the responding police officer or to the other driver. If the other driver requests to see your driver's license, you're supposed to do so. If the other driver gets serious injuries from the accident that requires first aid, you need to administer it and call for assistance. As mentioned above, failure to do any of these duties can, and often does, result in criminal sanctions. If you don't stop immediately after an accident, you should return to the scene as soon as possible. After a hit and run accident, you need to find a good legal team for your case. That way, you can explore possible defenses that will reduce your charges considerably.
Choosing A Good Legal TeamYou need to find an experienced attorney to handle your hit and run case, if you're involved in one that causes serious harm or death to any third parties. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a good attorney to handle your case.
- Exceptional Legal Education – Remember, simply because someone passed the bar exam doesn't mean that they have exceptional legal education. Therefore, look for a lawyer who attended an accredited law school among other certifications.
- Experience – You need to choose an attorney who has enough experience handling hit and run cases in Arizona. Consider issues such as the number of years he/she has been practicing law, the number of cases handled during those years and the number of cases resulting in overall dismissal of charges, plea bargain to a less offence or a not guilty verdict.
- Sufficient Resources – Find an attorney who can award sufficient time and resources to your cases. It's a known fact that most cases end up being lost because the attorneys are overworked or don't have enough time to investigate or defend your case accordingly.
- Communication Skills – Finally, you need someone with exceptional communication skills to take you through the case accordingly. That way, you're aware of your standings, the charges and your verdict. The attorney should be available at all times.
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