Understanding Hit and Run Offenses in Oklahoma: A Comprehensive Overview
When it comes to hit-and-run incidents, commonly known as leaving the scene of an accident, it is crucial to grasp the legal implications and consequences so that you can secure an Oklahoma City attorney who can partner with you to protect your future.
Defining a Hit and Run: Elements of the Crime
A hit and run occurs when an individual, who is the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident causing damage to vehicles or people, flees the scene with the intention of evading accountability, whether it be civil or criminal consequences. These two key elements form the basis of the offense, and understanding them is essential in comprehending the nature of a hit and run incident.
Misdemeanor or Felony: Determining Factors
The classification of a hit and run offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony hinges on the extent of the damage caused during the accident. If the incident solely results in damage to a vehicle and the driver flees the scene, it is typically considered a misdemeanor. Such instances often involve minor collisions, with no significant injuries sustained by any party involved.
In cases where non-fatal injuries occur and the driver intentionally leaves the scene, the offense escalates to a felony. Non-fatal injuries can encompass various degrees of harm, ranging from minor abrasions or bruises to mild whiplash. The severity of the injuries, coupled with the driver’s intention to avoid accountability, contributes to the elevation of the offense to a felony.
Penalties and Consequences
The penalties for hit and run offenses vary based on the degree of damage and injuries involved. For misdemeanor hit and runs, where only vehicle damage is incurred, the potential consequences include a fine of up to $500, imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum of one year, or a combination of both.
Felony hit and run offenses, involving non-fatal injuries, carry more severe penalties. Offenders may face a minimum of 10 days in the county jail, a maximum of two years in state prison, a fine of no less than $500, or a combination of these penalties.
The most significant ramifications arise in hit and run cases resulting in fatal injuries. Offenders can be subject to a minimum prison sentence of one year, extending up to a maximum of 10 years. Additionally, fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, or a combination of both, may be imposed.
Call Today for a consultation
If you or a loved one are facing charges related to a hit and run offense, it is crucial to consult an experienced Oklahoma City criminal attorney who can provide valuable guidance and legal representation. The Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City, stands ready to offer comprehensive assistance tailored to your specific situation. To schedule a consultation and explore your legal options, please contact our office at 405-888-5400. Our dedicated team is committed to protecting your rights and helping you navigate the complexities of the legal process.