As a Milwaukee criminal defense law firm, we at [Sub:BusinessName] have seen a wide range of cases, including those involving hit and run charges. In Wisconsin, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences. In this blog post, we will discuss the crime of leaving the scene of an accident, the potential penalties, and what to do if you've been accused of such a crime.
What Constitutes a Hit & Run in Wisconsin?
In the state of Wisconsin, a hit and run occurs when a driver involved in an accident fails to stop and remain at the scene to provide information and/or render aid to the other party. The law applies to accidents involving other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and even property damage. Fleeing the scene without fulfilling your legal obligations can lead to criminal charges.
Wisconsin law requires all drivers involved in an accident to do the following:
- Stop their vehicle at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic.
- Provide their name, address, vehicle registration, and driver's license information to the other parties involved.
- Render aid to any injured persons, which may include calling for medical assistance.
- Notify law enforcement if the accident results in injury, death, or significant property damage.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Wisconsin
The penalties for a hit and run in Wisconsin can be severe, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Here are the possible consequences:
- Property damage: If the accident involves only property damage, the offender may face a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
- Injury: If the accident results in injury, the offender could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 9 months.
- Great bodily harm: If the accident causes great bodily harm to another person, the offender may be charged with a Class E felony, which carries a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 15 years.
- Death: If the accident results in someone's death, the offender may be charged with a Class D felony, which carries a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 25 years.
It is important to note that these penalties may be compounded by other criminal charges stemming from the accident, such as reckless driving, vehicular homicide, or driving under the influence.
What to Do if You've Been Accused of a Hit & Run
If you've been accused of leaving the scene of an accident in Wisconsin, it is crucial that you take the following steps:
- Remain silent: You have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
- Consult an attorney: Seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at [Sub:BusinessName]. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your case and protect your rights.
- Preserve evidence: Keep any documentation related to the accident, such as photographs, witness statements, and insurance information.
- Cooperate with your attorney: Be honest and forthcoming with your attorney about the details of the accident. This will allow them to better assess your situation and provide appropriate guidance.
Leaving the scene of an accident in Wisconsin can result in serious criminal charges with severe consequences. If you've been accused of a hit and run, it is essential to seek legal representation as soon as possible. To discuss your case and options, contact our team today!