Michigan Statute Explained – Leaving Scene of Accident
Leaving scene of accident charge occurs more than individuals think. Many drivers have been or will be involved in some kind of motor vehicle accident during their lifetime. Hopefully the accident is minor and nothing serious happens to either party. People need to not only worry about increased premiums, vehicle damage and possible injury, but they also need to worry about criminal charges in some cases.
Whenever an individual is involved in an accident state law requires him or her to remain at the scene of the accident until certain things have occurred (otherwise leaving scene of accident charge can and will ensue). Essentially, Michigan law requires the individual driver involved in a car accident to “immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident” and remain at the scene up until he or she has satisfied the following requirements:
- Give his or her name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is operating, including the name and address of the owner, to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided;
- Exhibit his or her operator’s or chauffeur’s license to a police officer, individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided; and
- Render to any individual injured in the accident reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or arrange for or provide transportation to any injured individual. See MCL 257.618.
It’s important to note that since an individual involved in the accident must know or have reason to believe that he or she was actually involved in an accident, it allows for the possible defense when the “accident” is so minor that it would be unreasonable to know of the accident. However, remember that such a situation will always be based upon the factual circumstances involved in the particular case and there is never a guarantee to know that particular outcome. Leaving Scene of Accident charges can maintain severe consequences depending upon the specific charge issued.
If convicted of leaving scene of accident, pursuant to MCL 257.618, an individual will have a misdemeanor placed on his or her record and face a maximum 90-days in jail and and/or $100.00 fine, and 6 points placed on his or her driving record. It should also be noted that individuals involved in an accident where personal injury occured and the individual with leaving scene of accident will face an enhanced criminal charge. See MCL 257.617a. The enhancement increases the leaving scene of accident charge to a 1-year criminal misdemeanor attaching a $1,000.00 fine, 6 points on the drivering record, and a 90-day suspension of the drivers license.
It should also be noted that this article does not include all leaving scene of accident charges possible here in the State of Michigan. There are numerous varitions of the cime due to the various types of actions and events that can occur in these types of situations. For example, when the individuals involved in an accident and it occurred on a main roadway they are required to remove or move their vehicles unless the the individual involved in the accident knows or reaosnable should know that serious impairment of a bodily function or death occured because of the accident. See MCL 257.618a. If violating this statute an individual will be issued a civil infraction.
Whenever you are involved in a criminal matter, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, you need to maintain counsel. The smallest incidences can have the largest impact on an individual’s life, especially in the criminal justice system. Individual’s must be aware of the fact that probation, license sanctions, fines, and jail time can all occur when facing a criminal charge. Josh Jones is here for you, and has your back no matter the situation.
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