Even without having a law on the books, we should all know that if we are involved in a motor vehicle accident that we need to stay on the scene.
Staying on the scene allows all parties involved to exchange information and can provide law enforcement officers the ability to interview the people involved so that they can determine the details of what happened.
Most importantly, by not leaving the scene and checking in with the other people involved, you can determine if everyone is doing well or if an ambulance needs to be called.
As alluded to earlier, there is a law on the books that directs people to stay at the scene after being involved in a car crash. By not adhering to the rules and fleeing the scene you can subject yourself to a ‘hit and run’ crime.
The law in Nevada states that you must:
- Safely stop at the scene of the accident
- Offer and willfully provide your personal information to the other parties involved in the accident (driver’s license, insurance, name, contact info, etc…)
- Help anyone in need to the best of your ability
Hit and Run Charges
Hit and runs can vary depending on the damage caused.
If someone is involved in a car accident that only results in property damage and leaves the scene then that is a misdemeanor.
If charged with this crime, you will likely face up to six months in jail along with fines that can total all the way up to $1,000.
A hit-and-run can have severe penalties if a car crash results in someone being killed or injured and the driver fled the scene.
Being that this is much more serious, the charge is escalated to a felony (Category B).
The penalties are much higher than those of the misdemeanor variety. Someone convicted of this type of hit-and-run can likely expect a jail time sentence of 2 to 20 years as well as fines ranging from $2,000 on the low end, all the way to $5,000.
Regardless of the charges filed against you, we can help. We have a team of experienced lawyers that are ready and willing to fight for you and your rights. Our firm has been serving Las Vegas for years and knows how to win. If you or someone you know is facing hit-and-run charges, reach out and contact Ticket Busters today. We’ll do everything we can to get the best outcome possible.
What Actions Are Considered a Hit and Run?
By now you are probably wondering about what actually constitutes a hit-and-run. We know that in some minor accidents, parties might do a quick assessment for damage, realize that nothing is wrong and then go about their way without notifying a traffic officer.
Is that a hit-and-run?
That scenario is not a hit-and-run because the drivers exited their vehicles and communicated only to find that there was not any damage.
In Nevada law, a hit-and-run is when a driver crashes into another car and leaves the scene without providing medical aid (if it was even necessary), failing to provide contact information and other details pertaining to the vehicle (license number, insurance info, etc…).
So if you are ever involved in a car crash be sure to stay on the scene and make yourself available to the other parties.
Obligation to Report to the Police
In Las Vegas, you would notify the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. In other jurisdictions, you would need to call the proper authorities.
If there was property damage of an amount greater than $749, then you would need to notify the police as well.
If anyone has suffered a physical injury or, in the worst of cases, death, then law enforcement would also need to be called. When the police come to the scene, they will complete a traffic report.
If the police do not come to the scene then you as a driver have ten days from the date of the car crash to complete and submit an accident report.
This may sound like a tedious task but it is really in your best interest to do it. By doing so, you are able to record the details of the incident and what exactly happened in your words. Doing so in a timely fashion helps keep the facts fresh before minor (but often times important) details are forgotten.
Sometimes an injury can occur making it not possible for you to complete a report (for example, a broken hand). If this scenario occurs, you are allowed to wait until you are physically able to complete it.
In any case, you never want to ignore the completion of an accident report as that omission could cost you a possible suspension of your driver’s license. Making up a false report has a punishment of $2,000 fines (maximum) and or up to nearly a year in jail.
Recommendation Not to Move Vehicles If Possible
It is never advised by law enforcement to move vehicles after a crash but sometimes there are no other options.
Police like to see the cars in the position they were in as that can help them determine who was at fault. Often times participants of a crash will have differing stories of what happened and by seeing the cars in place, a good traffic officer can piece together what exactly happened.
Sometimes though a crashed car might be in a hazardous spot or in a position that is blocking traffic flows. In a situation like this, you may need to move your vehicle to a safer location.
Not all hit-and-run accidents involve another party.
Sometimes a car wreck might be between a car and a fence, a parked or unattended car, a wall, a building or many other things.
As previously mentioned, if there is property damage of $750 or more then the police need to be notified. But what if the damages are not that high?
In that case, you are obviously still responsible and will need to find the owner. If the owner is not available or cannot be found, then it is your responsibility to leave your contact info in a message.
If a note is left then it must be done in a way that the other party can find it.
Basic information to include on the note would be:
- Your name
- Contact info (to include phone number, email and mailing address)
- A brief explanation of what happened
- Vehicle owner’s name (if it is someone other than you)
NRS 484B.030 is the Nevada Revised Statute that pertains to the duties of a driver after they have been involved in a car accident. Chapter 484E is the chapter within the NRS that deals with the reporting of accidents.
NRS 484B.030 provides all of the specific details of what a driver must do after any type of accident. Knowing and interpreting Nevada law is extremely difficult for those that have not been formally trained in it.
Defense Against a Hit and Run Charge
A defense for any alleged crime is always going to be based on the details of the case.
When proceeding with your defense, we will gather all relevant information which may include dashcams and other videos. Often times there are traffic surveillance videos that are available or cell phone videos from eyewitnesses.
We will want to talk to these witnesses as well to get their facts as to what exactly occurred.
GPS through cell phones and automobiles may also be reviewed by our legal team.
As we have discussed prior, only if you were involved in the accident would you be required to stop. If you were not part of the accident then you really had no duty to stop and remain at the scene.
Sometimes a driver may not even be aware they were involved in an accident. This can happen with minor fender-bender incidents or even with pedestrians.
If this happened to you, we will argue this on your behalf. If you did stop and follow the law of providing all information and were still charged with leaving the scene, we will gather the necessary facts and data to prove your innocence.
Involved in a Hit & Run?
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident then it is important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
The Ticket Busters’ team of attorneys has decades of experience defending drivers in all types of motor vehicle cases. We are knowledgeable about Nevada law and how to apply it to your defense. If you were wrongfully charged with leaving the scene of an accident, we will fight hard on your behalf to get the best possible outcome.
Contact us today to discuss your case. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to provide you with a free initial consultation. Let us help you get the justice you deserve!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hit & run?
A hit-and-run is defined as an accident where one or more involved parties leave the scene without providing their contact information or identifying themselves to the other driver, occupants or property owners.
What should I do if I am involved in a hit & run?
If you were involved in a hit and run then you need to contact your local police department or the Nevada Highway Patrol as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that any evidence can be collected and used in a trial if necessary. You should also contact an experienced traffic attorney to learn more about your rights and what legal options are available to you.
What happens if I am charged with leaving the scene of an accident?
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident then it is important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will evaluate your case and provide you with advice on how to proceed. Depending on the details of your situation, they may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.
What information do I need to provide if I am involved in an accident?
If you are involved in an accident then you must provide your name, address, registration number and insurance information to the other parties involved. You may also be required to provide a driver’s license or any other relevant documents if necessary. In Nevada, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident until you have provided all of this information.
What are the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident?
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary in Nevada, depending on the severity of the accident and whether or not any other party was injured. This can range from a misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines, or you can face felony charges with harsher punishments.