Being involved in a car accident can be scary, chaotic, and confusing. While the law requires drivers to stop and exchange information after an accident, sometimes emotions and fear take over in the heat of the moment. If you or someone close to you allegedly left the scene of an accident in Las Vegas, you might be facing hit-and-run charges.
Fleeing the scene of an accident is always a mistake. But you deserve compassionate legal representation to protect your rights no matter what. The criminal defense attorneys at De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration understand the nuances of hit-and-run cases. We know prosecutors often paint the accused as hardened criminals without regard for others. But many factors might have contributed to you leaving the scene in the moment – from shock and disorientation to fear of unjust consequences.
Whatever led you to that split-second decision, you now face potential penalties like steep fines, loss of license, and even jail time. However, our experienced defense lawyers can humanize your actions before the court and negotiate reduced penalties or alternative sentences. We will thoroughly investigate the accident, advocate for your character, and develop an aggressive defense strategy on your behalf.
You can’t change the past. But you can still fight for your future. Put our compassionate hit-and-run defense attorneys on your side today. We will tirelessly protect your rights at this challenging time. Call us now at 702-222-9999 to arrange your confidential consultation session.
What Is a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run is a traffic incident in which the at-fault driver leaves the scene of an accident without stopping to fulfill the relevant legal requirements. In Nevada, these requirements involve assisting any injured parties and exchanging information with others involved in the wreck.
Under Nevada law, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury or death carries harsher criminal penalties than a hit-and-run involving property damage only. When the authorities identify hit-and-run drivers, they can face severe penalties upon conviction, including possible jail time.
Legal Responsibilities of Nevada Drivers Involved in Accidents
Nevada hit-and-run laws require you to take the following actions whenever you’re involved in an accident that results in property damage, injury, or death:
- Stop immediately at the accident scene.
- If your vehicle is causing a hazard or obstructing traffic, you must move it out of traffic to a safe location if you can do so safely.
- Provide your name, address, and vehicle registration number, and show your driver’s license to others involved in the crash upon request.
- If a police officer is at the scene or is investigating the crash, you must provide the above information and your driver’s license to the officer.
- Offer reasonable assistance to any injured person, including by arranging medical treatment or transportation if necessary.
- If no police officer is present, you must report the accident to the nearest police authority or the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Similarly, if you are in an accident with an unattended vehicle, you must:
- Immediately notify the owner and provide your name and address. If you can’t locate the owner, you should leave a written notice on the damaged vehicle or property with your information.
- Immediately report the crash to the nearest police authority or the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Failure to adhere to these requirements after an accident could result in hit-and-run charges.
Penalties for Hit-and-Run Charges in Nevada
The severity of the penalties for a hit-and-run accident largely depends on the outcome of the crash – whether it led to only property damage or resulted in bodily injury or death.
For a hit-and-run charge after an accident resulting in property damage only:
- Nevada classifies this offense as a misdemeanor.
- Punishment can include up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- A possible alternative sentence is a fixed period of community service.
For a hit-and-run charge after an accident that injures or kills a person:
- Nevada classifies this offense as a category B felony.
- Each individual hurt or killed in a hit-and-run accident can count as a distinct offense.
- There is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years per offense.
- Convicted offenders face up to 20 years in prison.
- Those convicted also owe $2,000 to $5,000 in fines.
- A sentence for this conviction cannot be suspended, and probation is not an option.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
Facing hit-and-run charges is daunting. But with the right defense strategy, your chances of a favorable outcome increase dramatically. Depending on the circumstances, a knowledgeable defense lawyer in Nevada could employ one or several of the following hit-and-run defenses on your behalf:
- Lack of Knowledge: One possible defense could be that you were unaware that an accident occurred or that you caused any damage. Your lawyer could argue that you had no knowledge of any collision or need to stop, especially if the damage or impact was minimal.
- Emergency Situation: Your attorney might assert that you had to leave the scene due to a genuine emergency that demanded immediate attention. This could include a medical emergency or a credible threat to your safety.
- Mistaken Identity: Given the chaos that often follows accidents, witnesses commonly misidentify vehicles or drivers. Your lawyer could argue that you were not the one involved in the hit-and-run, backed by evidence like an alibi or discrepancies in witness descriptions.
- Stop and Return: Suppose you stopped your vehicle a short distance from the accident scene and returned promptly. In that case, your attorney might argue that you did comply with the letter of the law even if another party thought they saw you flee.
- Unattended Vehicle: Perhaps the accident involved a stationary vehicle or property, and you genuinely tried to find the owner but couldn’t. If so, your attorney could argue that you did your best to fulfill your legal obligations and committed no crime.
Contact De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers Today
Don’t let a hit-and-run charge define your future. Trust in the knowledge and experience of the hit-and-run defense team at De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration. Call us today at 702-222-9999 or contact us online for your confidential case evaluation.