In North Carolina, a motorist has certain duties in the event of any sort of accident. In the event of any type of crash, a driver has the responsibility to stop, furnish information such as name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance details, and provide reasonable assistance to an injured person.
There are a few different forms of hit and run in North Carolina and some are punishable as a misdemeanor while others can result in a felony.
Hit and Run: Failure to Notify Authorities
A person is guilty of this type of hit and run if the drive a vehicle that is involved in a crash that causes:
- the death of a person
- injury of a person
- property damage totaling $1,000 or more
and that person fails to immediately notify a law enforcement officer. This is a misdemeanor.
Hit and Run: Driver’s Failure to Stop or Remain at the Scene with a Vehicle When Personal Injury or Death Occurs
A person is guilty if they drive a vehicle that is involved in an accident that causes injury or death to any person and the driver willfully fails to remain with the vehicle at the scene until a law enforcement officer completes his investigation and authorizes the person to leave. This is a Class H felony.
Hit and Run: Driver’s Failure to Give Information or Assistance When Injury or Death Occurs
A person is guilty of this offense if they drive a car that is involved in a collision that causes injury or death and the person fails to give his name, address, and driver’s license and any license plate numbers or fails to render reasonable assistance to a person injured in the collision. This is a misdemeanor.
Hit and Run: Driver’s Failure to Stop or Give Information When Injury or Death Is Not Apparent or Only Property Damage Occurs
In this form of hit and run, a person is guilty if they drive a vehicle that is involved in an accident that causes only property damage or injury or death that is not apparent and that person willfully fails to immediately stop at the scene of the accident or fails to remain with the vehicle at the scene of a reportable accident until a law enforcement officer completes his investigates and authorizes that person to leave. A person is also guilty if they facilitate, allow or agree to the removal of the vehicle before the completion of the investigation or if they fail to provide the required information to the driver or occupant of any other vehicle involved in the accident. This type of charge is a misdemeanor.
You should never leave the scene of an accident before an officer has completed an investigation. However, if you find yourself in this situation and are either wanting to make things right or you have been called by law enforcement, talk to a Raleigh criminal defense attorney before making any statements. There are times when charges can be prevented or favorably resolved in these types of cases.