Charged with Hit and Run?

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.

Bodily Harm

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.

Vehicle Damages

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.

Property Damages

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.

Misdemeanor Charges

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.

Felony Charges

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.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.