Can You Defend Against a Hit-and-Run Charge in NC?
Hit-and-run charges in North Carolina are taken very seriously and carry severe penalties if convicted. It is important for anyone facing such charges to understand their rights and the defense options available to them. Below we will discuss the elements of a hit-and-run charge in North Carolina, the potential penalties, and possible defense strategies.
What Constitutes a Hit-and-Run in North Carolina?
A hit-and-run in North Carolina occurs when a person is involved in a collision and fails to stop and provide their personal information to the other driver(s) or report the accident to law enforcement. According to North Carolina General Statute 20-166, a driver must stop at the scene of an accident and provide their name, address, and vehicle registration information to the other driver(s) and any law enforcement officer investigating the accident. The driver must also render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident.
Penalties for Hit-and-Run in North Carolina
The penalties for hit-and-run in North Carolina vary depending on the severity of the accident and whether there were any injuries or deaths involved.
A hit-and-run resulting in property damage only carries a Class 1 misdemeanor charge and a maximum of 120 days in jail. A maximum fine of $200 and penalties like demerit driver's license points may also be slapped on the offender.
A hit-and-run resulting in injury is a Class H felony and carries a maximum sentence of 25 months in prison, fines, and a suspension of the driver's license for at least one year.
A hit-and-run resulting in death is a Class F felony and carries a maximum sentence of 41 months in prison, heavy fines, and revocation of one's driver's license.
Possible Defense Strategies
If you are facing a hit-and-run charge in North Carolina, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Some possible defense strategies that may be used in your case include the following:
Lack of knowledge: If you were involved in an accident but were not aware of the collision or did not realize that you were required to stop and provide your personal information, this can be used as a defense.
Emergency: If you were involved in an accident and had a reasonable belief that stopping would have endangered your own safety or the safety of others, this can be used as a defense.
False accusations: It is possible for someone to be falsely accused of a hit-and-run. An experienced attorney can help investigate the case and gather evidence to prove your innocence.
Speak With Us
Hit-and-run charges in North Carolina are serious and carry severe penalties if convicted. It is important for anyone facing such charges to understand their rights and the defense options available to them. If you have been charged with hit-and-run in North Carolina, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Our law firm has the experience and expertise to defend against hit-and-run charges and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.