Lake County Hit-and-Run Defense Attorney
Lawyer For Leaving the Scene of an Accident Charges in Illinois
Many people know the crime of leaving the scene of an accident by the name “hit-and-run.” Whatever you call it, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious criminal offense that goes beyond a traffic offense. Of course the circumstances surrounding the incident will factor into your charges, but you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony and could be subject to extremely severe penalties. Under Illinois law, you are required to stop and render aid when you are involved in an accident which involves either injury to a person or damage to property. If you “dinged” another car at the supermarket parking lot and there was only damage done to the other vehicle, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If your accident resulted in the other driver being injured, and you simply drove away without calling 911 and staying to offer assistance, you could be charged with a felony.
Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt understands the serious nature of your charges and will work aggressively to minimize the damage to your future. Our Northbrook hit-and-run defense lawyer knows that you are likely feeling frightened and alone after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident and he will work hard to alleviate those fears and answer all your questions. Matthew R. Gebhardt is approachable and knowledgeable and will not judge your offense, rather will do his best to construct a solid defense on your behalf.
Potential Defenses to Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Your attorney will thoroughly assess the details of your case, determining the best way to proceed on your behalf. There could be a number of reasons you failed to file a report or did not stop following your accident. Perhaps you were injured in the accident and you were confused, resulting in your failure to stop. Maybe you were not aware an accident occurred, or that the accident was grave enough to warrant stopping. As an extreme—but still possible—justification, if you believed your life would be in danger by remaining at the scene of the accident, you could be granted an exemption. Unfortunately, leaving the scene of an accident is considered to be almost as serious as DUI charges by prosecutors.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
If you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which only property damage occurred, your driver’s license could be suspended if there is damage to the other vehicle of more than $1,000. If there was more than $1,500 in property damage, Illinois laws require you to file an Illinois Crash Report at the closest police station. This is required no matter who was at fault for the accident. The Illinois Crash Report can be picked up at a police station and should be sent to the Illinois Department of Transportation no later than ten days following the accident. Leaving the scene of an accident without providing information and assistance to the wounded driver, when serious injury or death occurred is a serious, Class 4 felony offense. You could be sentenced to one to three years in an Illinois state prison if convicted. You will also face a revocation of your driver’s license for a conviction of leaving the scene of an accident which resulted in personal injury or death.
Obtaining Assistance for Your Charges from a Skilled Lawyer
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in the State of Illinois, the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. has the experience and knowledge necessary to mount an effective defense on your behalf. Understanding that you could face more than a year in prison as well as large fines and a probation period after your release, our Mundelein hit-and-run defense lawyer will fight aggressively to have your charges dismissed or to obtain an acquittal on your behalf. For experienced, skilled representation, contact Matthew R. Gebhardt at 773-898-8745 or 847-239-4703 for a comprehensive evaluation of your case.