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.

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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.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and 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. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.