Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney, Michelle Sparrow, explains the various types of consequences for hit and run offenses in North Carolina.
Under North Carolina law, a driver can be charged with a hit-and-run if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident along with any of the following criteria:
- Failing to stop at the scene of the crash
- Leaving the scene before authorities have completed their investigation and released the driver
Depending on the prior record of the individual as well as the individual circumstances themselves, hit-and-run offenses are sometimes charged as a misdemeanor with the potential to be placed on short term probation. The goal normally with this type of offense is to avoid being charged with a criminal offense as well as avoiding a lengthy probation.
A hit-and-run can be charged as more than a misdemeanor if there are extenuating circumstances in addition to the hit-and-run itself. For example, if the accident results in serious bodily injury or death then it will be classified under North Carolina law as a Class F felony. This type of felony has penalties as severe as a 20 year prison sentence and a fine. A less serious injury might result in a Class H felony, with a penalty of a 10 year prison sentence and a fine.
In some cases, the license of the driver committing the hit-and-run may be revoked. An instance where this may occur would be refusal of a blood alcohol content test. Speeding can also result in a revocation or possibly a reduction to limited driving privileges.
Combinations with other circumstances such as driving while under the influence, having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, or driving with a suspended license can also have an effect on the severity of the sentence.
If you have been charged with a hit-and-run offense, contact the Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at Sparrow Law Firm for a free consultation.