Traffic accidents are serious matters that must be handled carefully. Michigan laws set specific duties for drivers who are in crashes. Failing to follow these laws can result in you facing criminal charges. You must report accidents if any of these occur:
- There’s a fatality or injury
- Property that’s unattended is damaged
- Property damage totals more than $1,000
- Vehicle owner can’t be found after a parked vehicle is struck
It’s usually best to file a report about the crash. Contacting the police to come to the scene is likely the best way to handle the situation — and doing so covers your bases.
What happens to drivers who leave the scene of an accident?
Individuals who leave the scene of an accident can face criminal charges. It’s imperative that you comply with state laws regarding remaining at the scene and reporting the crash. The charge and penalties a person faces for leaving the scene of an accident depend on whether there are injuries present.
If there are injuries or a death associated with the crash, a driver who leaves can face a felony charge that comes with up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Without injuries present, the person faces a misdemeanor and a suspended driver’s license.
Anyone facing charges for leaving an accident scene should remember that they are very serious. Working on your defense early in the case is important so you have time to consider your options. This also gives you time to plan your defense strategy so that you aren’t trying to rush through that process.