Having a car accident is one of the most frightening events Maryland residents can experience. Further, accidents can cause those involved to become confused and overwhelmed. While it is natural to just want to leave and go home to safety, it is very important not to do so. We all know it is wrong to leave the scene of an accident, even one that could not have been prevented, but did you know that it is a serious criminal act that could result in harsh penalties?
The penalties imposed upon those who flee the scene will depend upon the severity of the accident and how much property damage or physical injury occurred. Even if virtually no damage occurred and everyone walked away, the driver who fled could face charges.
Fleeing the scene of an accident with property damage might land you in jail for as long as 60 days. This offense may also incur a financial penalty of up to $500. In some cases, the driver who fled could be subjected to both penalties.
It is a worse crime in the eyes of the law to leave an accident scene in which someone was hurt. In some cases, the person who fled could be charged with a felony, especially if one of the victims was severely injured. Upon conviction, the defendant could face up to five years in prison, fines of up to $5,000 or both.
In cases where another motorist died, the person who left the scene could face felony manslaughter charges resulting in a lengthy prison sentence, thousands of dollars in fines or both.
For those who need to learn more about how to defend themselves against serious charges, we invite you to study our criminal defense website. We offer many comprehensive pages about crime in the state of Maryland and how to build a winning defense.