I commited a hit and run in Missouri. What should I do?

Hit and Run Missouri

A car accident is something that no one plans for. When you’re scared, confused, disoriented you might have a made a decision you never imagined you would–leaving the scene of an accident. Hit and run can carry serious consequences in Missouri. Fortunately, our St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney has experience beating leaving the scene of an accident cases in Missouri. If you or a loved one has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation where we can discuss your options.

What is the legal definition of hit and run in Missouri?

Under RSMo Section 477.060 “Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident”, a person commits a hit and run when:

  • The operator of a vehicle or vessell involved in accident resulting in injury or death or property damage of another person; and
  • Having knowledge of such accident he or she leaves the place of the injury, damage or accident without stopping and giving the following information to the other party or to a law enforcement officer, or if no law enforcement officer is in the vicinity, then to the nearest law enforcement agency

    • His or her name
    • His or her residence, including streat number
    • The registration or license number for his or her vehicle or vessel
    • his or her operators license number

It’s important to not that in many cases it may not be practical to stay on the scene of an accident. For instance, if you were involved in an accident on the highway, it would be dangerous to remained stopped. However, even in situations where it is not practical to stop, you are still required to notify the police of the accident and provide the information listed above.

What are the consequences for hit and run in Missouri?

  • If the damage is less than $1,000, leaving the scene is a class A misdemeanor and carries up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000
  • If the damage is more than $1,000 or another person was injured, leaving the scene is a class E felony and carries up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • If a death occured as a result of the accident, leaving the scene is a class D felony and carries up to seven years in a prison and a fine of up to $10,000

Aside from criminal consequences, there may be civil consequences as well. If you do not have insurance at the time of the accident, the other driver and his or her insurance company may come after you personally for damages. Additionally, under RSMo Sections Sections 303.030 and 303.042, If you are at fault for the accident and do not pay for the damages, your driver license and/or license plates will be suspended for one year. Your driver license and/or license plates can be reinstated within the one-year period provided you pay a $20 reinstatement fee and send proof to the Driver License Bureau that you have settled the accident loss. Finally, a conviction for leaving the scene can result in 12 to 16 points on your driver’s license, which is enought to trigger a one year suspension.

How long will it take for the police to find me after a hit and run?

Whether or not the police find you after a hit and run depends on what evidence they have available. If a witness took down your license the police will likely be knocking on your door with in a day or two. The police will also put a “wanted” out on your vehicle, which allows any law enforcement officer in the state to pull you over and detain you. However, It’s important to note, that the police still have to be able to prove who was actually driving the vehicle. That is why our St. Louis Criminal Lawyer reccomends you do not make any statements to police if they question you about a hit and run. Statements made to your own insurance company can also potentially be used against you in a hit and run prosecution.

What to do if you were involved in a hit and run

A hit and run can have potentially life altering consequences, including a felony conviction and jail or prison time. If you were involved in a hit and run, it is imperative that you contact a skilled St. Louis Criminal Lawyer, who can advise you on how to best address the situation. Generally, the first step we take is to reach out to the investigating officer. We will provide your insurance and advise the officer you will not be making any statements. In many cases, this has prevented charges from being filed. If you have been charged, we can usually negotiate a plea bargain where you do not recieve a conviction. This protect your repuation and prevents points on your driving record, which can drastically increase you insurance premiums. If you or a loved one has been charged with leaving the scene in Missouri, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

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