Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Pennsylvania
According to Pennsylvania law, when an automobile accident involves death or personal injury, the driver can be charged with a criminal offense if they do not immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident and remain until they have fulfilled their statutorily required obligations. Under Pennsylvania law, the driver involved in an accident has the obligation to give information and render aid; they also must stop their vehicle so as not to obstruct traffic more than necessary.
West Chester Hit and Run Defense Attorney
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today at (267) 388-3476 for a consultation about your alleged hit and run in Pennsylvania. Attorney Michael J. Skinner is knowledgeable and experienced with Pennsylvania’s traffic laws, and will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for the charges against you. Call the Skinner Law Firm today if you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident throughout Pennsylvania, including the areas of West Chester in Chester County, Media in Delaware County, Norristown in Montgomery County, and Lancaster in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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Definition of Serious Bodily Injury under Pennsylvania Law
The term "serious bodily injury" is defined under Pennsylvania law as any bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or causes permanent or serious disfigurement or protracted impairment or loss of the function of any organ or bodily member.
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Penalties for Leaving the Scene in Pennsylvania
According to 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3742, the offense of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death or Personal Injury can result in a conviction of a misdemeanor of the first degree. This offense can be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment for five years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
The alleged offender can be charged with a felony of the third degree if the victim suffers from serious bodily injury. This offense can result in a minimum term of imprisonment for 90 days and a maximum of seven years imprisonment. Additionally, a convicted offender can be charged with a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, and a maximum not exceeding $15,000.
If the victim dies, the alleged offender can be charged with a felony of the third degree with a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than one year and a maximum of seven years in prison. A convicted offender can additionally face a mandatory minimum fine of $2,500, but not more than $15,000.
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Pennsylvania Statutory Requirements to Give and Render Aid
Under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3744, the driver involved in an accident has the obligation to give information and render aid if property damage occurs, or any person is injured or dies as a result of the accident. The driver must stop and give the following to the other driver, any one injured in the crash, or any law enforcement officer investigating the crash:
- The driver’s name;
- The driver’s address;
- The registration information of the vehicle;
- A valid driver's license;
- Information showing financial responsibility, such as automobile insurance;
- Render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident; and
- Make arrangements to carry an injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if requested by the injured person.
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Related Hit and Run Traffic Offenses
Homicide by Vehicle, under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 373, results from causing the death of another person due to reckless driving or gross negligence. A conviction for this offense can result in a felony of the third degree.
There is no statute of limitations for certain traffic offenses, which means there is no time limit for when the alleged offender can be charged, and can be charged several years after committing the criminal act. These traffic offenses include accidents involving death or personal injury under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3742, and homicide by vehicle under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3732 if the accident resulted in death of another person.
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Skinner Law Firm | West Chester, Pennsylvania Hit and Run Defense Attorney
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about allegedly leaving the scene of an accident in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Lancaster County, Montgomery County and Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Michael J. Skinner will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious repercussions and consequences for the allegations against you. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (267) 388-3476 for a consultation about your alleged traffic offense in Pennsylvania.