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There are many different types of accidents involving cars, and one of the most common is a hit-and-run. If you are in a hit-and-run, there are serious consequences. The police will track you down, even if it was a minor incident.
After a hit-and-run, there is no set time before the police will contact you. However, in some cases, they are known to take as little as a few hours or days to locate those responsible for the incident.
If you’re interested in learning more about police contact after a hit-and-run, read on. It’s helpful to know what to expect, whether you’re involved in one or preparing for the chance you could be one day.
I Committed A Hit-and-Run. How Long Will It Take For Police To Find Me?
Police are usually fast acting after an offense, such as a hit-and-run, using various evidence from witnesses and the scene to track down the guilty party. Most officers will take as little time as possible to track down the involved individuals - meaning it could be hours or days before they knock on your door.
Sometimes, it takes weeks or months for the police to contact you. However, these instances are rare. It’s more likely police will locate you quickly if they were able to obtain the license plate number and other critical information from the scene.
If the officers don’t have much information, it will take them longer to locate the people involved. A license is critical to locate the perpetrator and nail down the involved criminals for legal trials to take place.
What To Do After A Hit-and-Run
Involvement in a hit-and-run is a sudden and unexpected experience. It will likely throw you off balance. However, gather yourself as soon as possible to increase the chance of seeking justice for the accident from the guilty party.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run as a victim, you should:
- Try to identify the other driver by any means, such as jotting down their license
- Contact law enforcement
- Assess yourself for injuries and seek any medical treatment necessary
- Document anything about the scene
- Think about ways to recover damage from your accident
These should cover the situation and take care of anything you need.
The best thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to document anything you can about the individual who performed the hit-and-run. The more knowledge you get, the easier for officers to locate and contact the guilty party for the trial.
How Long After A Hit-and-Run Accident Can You Be Charged?
If you are the guilty party and have not been contacted by police, you can typically be charged up to one year after the accident. If there are no charges and no contact before then, you do not need to worry about any consequences of the incident. It will go away under the statute of limitations.
It’s critical to note that the statute of limitations differs by state. If you’re in Georgia and commit a hit-and-run, the time you can be charged may differ from what it would be in California.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, keep this time frame in mind. Attempt to provide as much information as possible to locate the guilty party before this period ends.
How Long Do You Have To File/Report It?
There are many different rules for reporting a hit-and-run. If you’re responsible, you should report it within ten days to the DMV or you run the risk of suspension of your license. If you want to file liability claims, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file with a court of law and act against the perpetrator.
As with the statute of limitations, rules for filing and reporting vary by state. If you are in Maine, do your research to ensure you report and file before time is up. If you’re in Texas, you may have more or less time before the perpetrator gets off without any chance of giving you back compensation for your damages.
What Is The Punishment For A Hit-and-Run?
Hit-and-runs are serious, and the punishments will vary by state. If you are the perpetrator of this crime, you may experience a fine or be sentenced to years of incarceration for the action.
Examples of punishments for the hit-and-run include the following, each with varying levels of severity:
- Fines, up to thousands of dollars
- Incarceration for up to five years or longer depending on who was hurt or killed
- Revocation of license if the perpetrator fails to report the crime
The consequence will depend on how serious the hit-and-run was and the state it occurred in.
Every state is different in how they address hit-and-run crimes. Some may be more lenient about the crime, while others will strike hard against the offense. It’s a good idea to be aware of your state’s laws against hit-and-runs.
Can You Sue For A Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run is an often deadly accident. If you are the victim in this accident, you could experience severe injuries and trauma that leave you with extensive medical bills and even time spent outside of work, resulting in lost wages. You may want to sue the perpetrator of the crime for performing the hit-and-run.
In most cases, one of the legal actions you can take is to sue the perpetrator. Most states have laws to ensure the victim receives compensation for their suffering, whether it’s from the insurance company or the person who performed the hit-and-run.
The court can order the criminal to pay punitive damages to the victim. It’s best to get a lawyer as soon as possible after the incident happens to discuss the next steps and determine what you need to do to get what you are owed. They will guide you in the next best steps and act when you cannot.
Is Leaving The Scene Of A Hit-and-Run A Felony?
If you leave the scene of a hit-and-run in most states, it isn’t always a felony. If there was only car damage or slight property damage, you will experience consequences, but they will not be on the level of a felony. However, there are exceptions to this statement.
Perpetrators who leave the scene of the crime if there are serious injuries and even death will face felony charges in most states. Once there is harm to any living person in a hit-and-run, the punishment for leaving the scene automatically becomes much more severe than it would be for a slight bump to a vehicle.
It is never a good idea to feel the scene of a hit-and-run if you’re responsible, even if you’re terrified of the consequences. They will always be less severe if you decide to stay and help instead of booking it as fast as you can.
What Kind Of Charge Is A Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run is a misdemeanor in some cases and a felony in others. The charge depends on the state, the severity of the accident, and whether a person involved is seriously injured or killed during the incident.
A misdemeanor is typically punished with up to a year in jail or up to a $5,000 fine for the perpetrator. A hit-and-run is considered a misdemeanor if you hit an object, such as an unoccupied car or a fence, and leave the scene without leaving information for insurance purposes. However, it’s rare that this charge is the case in these instances.
A felony is typically punished by a much higher fine and multiple years incarcerated. It falls under the felony category if you hit a person or unoccupied car and flee, even if there are severe injuries and even death. You could spend up to fifteen years in prison in many states for this decision after the accident.
How Long Will A Hit-And-Run Stay On Your Record?
hit-and-runs are no tiny deal. Typically, they will remain on your record for three to five years, affecting your insurance and following you wherever you go. They will likely raise your auto insurance rate and make life much more expensive. It could stay on your record longer, but most insurers only examine the last three to five years.
Again, the state you occupy will influence how long the hit-and-run remain on your record. If you live in California, the DMV reports the incident for about three years. However, if the hit-and-run involved hazardous or commercial vehicles, it will remain on your record for about a decade.
A hit-and-run will have consequences for your record. It will remain for three years but could be there for decades if you live in some states. It’s not worth leaving the scene of a crime, no matter how afraid you are of the punishment. It’s always a better option to remain near the scene to provide insurance information.
Reference Legal Explanations
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"How Long After Hit And Run Will Police Contact You?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on September 29, 2023. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-long-after-hit-and-run-will-police-contact-you/.
"How Long After Hit And Run Will Police Contact You?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-long-after-hit-and-run-will-police-contact-you/. Accessed 29 September, 2023
How Long After Hit And Run Will Police Contact You?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-long-after-hit-and-run-will-police-contact-you/.