Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime, and Illinois prosecutors might not take kindly to your argument that you were too confused or shaken to stop. Even if the accident only caused property damage, you might face a criminal charge under Illinois statutes. Please contact a criminal defense lawyer in DuPage County for help with your defense.
Several laws lay out a driver’s obligations after an accident. Collectively, they require the following:
Leaving the scene when there has only been property damage is a misdemeanor charge. Leaving when there has been bodily injury is a felony.
As you can see, the requirements are very specific. Motorists need to immediately stop — not drive down the road and then walk back. Sometimes, a police officer will see a person strike a vehicle and immediately assume the driver is fleeing when, in reality, the driver is trying to pull over without obstructing traffic.
At our firm, we always meet with clients to get their side of the story. Sometimes, people are so shaken that they were not thinking clearly immediately after the crash. This is perfectly understandable. In other cases, they might have no idea they clipped a pedestrian, especially if the contact was slight. Before a lawyer can fight to clear your name, you need to meet to discuss what you were thinking on the day in question.
If convicted, a person is facing some stiff penalties that are hard to overcome. Any criminal conviction can come back to haunt you later in life, when applying for a job, for example. The penalties you face will depend on whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor:
The moments following an accident are scary. If you are charged with a hit and run, call 630-953-3000 to speak with a Naperville traffic violation attorney. At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., our consultations are always free.