Maryland Hit and Run Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a Maryland motor accident, you might be tempted to leave the scene, especially if you think no one witnessed your collision. But in this technological age with surveillance cameras everywhere, you’ll need to resist that temptation because you could get in serious trouble with the law.
Fleeing an accident scene without stopping to help anyone who was hurt or assess any property damage is generally known as a hit-and-run. Not only are such acts morally inexcusable they also constitute a serious criminal offense under Maryland law. The penalties for such offenses vary depending on the severity of the offense and whether anyone got hurt in the collision. But it’s safe to say that you could end up in jail if convicted.
You can avoid a hit-and-run charge in Maryland by stopping to render help to anyone who gets hurt in the collision and following other requirements of the Maryland transportation code for such incidents. But if you’re already facing such charges as a hit-and-run driver, it might be time to consult a car crash attorney with extensive experience in hit-and-run cases who can fight your case in court and guide you through this difficult time.
Read on to learn how Maryland hit-and-run crimes work, how to avoid them, and how a Maryland car accident attorney can help with your hit-and-run charges.
Maryland Hit-And-Run Offenses: What Does the Law Say?
Title 27 of the Maryland Code provides for several categories of hit-and-run offenses depending on the nature of the road accident and specifies the punishment for each accordingly.
For each type of road accident specified under the law, the driver is obligated by section 104 to perform several acts, including:
- Stopping to assist the victim and transporting them to medical care if injured.
- Providing the victim(s), driver, or any policeman present with their name, address, insurance company information, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license if it is available for inspection. Suppose the victim or vehicle driver cannot receive the above information due to their injuries, and there is no police officer at the scene. In that case, you must report the incident at the nearest police station after making arrangements for the victim’s transportation to the hospital.
A violation of these duties is what leads to a hit-and-run charge.
Below are the categories of hit-and-run crimes based on the nature of the accident and the possible penalties in each case.
Car Accidents Involving Serious Injury or Death
If you’re involved in an accident in which the car accident victim is physically injured or dies, you’re required to stop and remain at the scene until you’ve fulfilled the conditions set by section 104 of Title 27 of the Maryland Code. Otherwise, you could face felony charges and up to ten years in prison if convicted, depending on whether or not the victim survived the incident.
Accidents Involving Attended Vehicles or Property
Suppose you collide with a vehicle or other property in the owner’s presence. In that case, you’re required to stop as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic and comply with section 104.
Otherwise, you could face imprisonment for up to two months, a fine of up to $500, or both fine and imprisonment.
Accidents Involving an Unattended Vehicle or Property
If you’re involved in a car accident involving an unattended vehicle or property, you don’t get a free pass to leave the scene because the owner is not around. You must stop to seek out the owner of the vehicle or property and provide them with your contact information, the registration number of your vehicle, and the name and address of the vehicle owner if it isn’t yours.
You can write down the required information and leave it in or on the vehicle/property or any other obvious spot if you cannot find the owner.
Failure to fulfill this condition could lead to up to two months of jail time, a fine of up to $500, or both.
Accidents Involving a Domestic Animal
If you collide with or run over a pet or other domestic animal, you could also be charged with a hit-and-run if you flee the scene. The law requires that you report such incidents to the local police, who will then take steps to ensure the animal receives the appropriate medical care.
Consequences of a Maryland Hit and Run
Other than the criminal law penalties mentioned in the previous section, a hit-and-run conviction exposes you to other long-term consequences.
A hit-and-run conviction amounts to a moving violation in Maryland. It can add between 8 to 12 points to your driver’s record. According to Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration, your driver’s license could be suspended if you’ve accumulated between 8 to 11 points. Twelve points or more signifies an automatic license revocation.
The victim may also commence a civil suit against you to get compensation for the following:
Medical bills for physical injury and psychological trauma
This could lead to significant financial liabilities for you, so it’s better to avoid such situations in the first place by obeying the law and stopping after a car crash.
How Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Can Help With Hit and Run Accidents
If you’ve been in a car accident and you’re unsure what to do, you can contact a car accident attorney for guidance on the next steps to take to avoid or minimize your liability.
For those already facing hit-and-run charges, you’d likely need a car accident attorney to defend you in court and help you navigate the legal process. A Maryland car accident lawyer has the knowledge and experience to help you protect your rights, assess the details of your criminal case and present you with the options most likely to gain the most optimal result.
Contact Reputable Hit-And-Run Lawyers at Scrofano Law
At Scrofano Law, we understand the difficulties associated with a hit-and-run case, especially since the outcome also affects your driving privileges. Our goal is to protect each client’s rights throughout the criminal justice process and work to establish a suitable outcome for them as much as the circumstances allow.
With years of criminal defense experience, we have a deep understanding of the laws governing auto accidents in Maryland, and we are in a solid position to offer you optimal legal advice and representation throughout your case.
Also, if you or anyone you know is dealing with a hit-and-run accident in Washington, DC, our DC hit-and-run lawyer can also help with your defense. For a start, you can read through our FAQ: DC hit & run page to further understand your case and how to proceed in the circumstances.
Contact us as soon as possible, and let us fight your hit-and-run charges together.
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