A Minnesota hit and run collision may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of damages and injuries.
Understanding Hit and Run Laws
Under Minnesota Statutes, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a crime. The law requires any driver involved in a collision with another vehicle to stop and investigate the accident and remain at the scene until police officers arrive. Leaving the scene of the accident without following the law may result in hit and run charges, punishable as a misdemeanor or felony offense.
After a car accident occurs, a driver is required to call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene unless the driver requires emergency medical care. The driver should check for injury victims, as well as vehicle and property damages.
If the driver knows or has reason to know the collision caused injury or death to another person, the driver must remain at the scene of the collision and report the collision, injuries, and fatalities to the local police, county sheriff, or highway patrol right away.
If the driver reasonably knows the collision resulted in damage to another vehicle, whether occupied or unoccupied, the driver must remain at the scene. If the damaged vehicle is unattended, the driver must attempt to locate the owner of the vehicle. If the owner can’t be located, the driver must leave his/her name and personal information in a written note on the windshield of the damaged vehicle.
If the driver reasonably knows the collision resulted in property damages only, the driver must take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner of the property, or leave his/her name and address and license plate number in a written note attached to the damaged property.
Hit and run accidents that involve only vehicle or property damages are charged as misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offenses. Penalties and fines are usually based on the monetary value of the damages.
Hit and run accidents that involve bodily harm or death to another person are charged as felony offenses. If bodily harm occurs, a driver can face fines up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. If the hit and run results in death to another person, a driver can face fines up to $5,000 and up to three years in jail.