Like most states, Nevada has strict “Hit and Run” laws to prevent drivers from leaving the scene of an accident before exchanging information and rendering aid to injured individuals. Even if the resultant collision was not your fault, you could face hit and run charges if you leave the scene of a car accident unless you first exchange information, render aid to anyone with bodily injury, and wait for a police officer to arrive and file an accident report for any property damage that was sustained by either party as required by law.
You should always wait until the police officer says that it is okay to leave. If there was only property damage involved and you leave the scene, you could face misdemeanor charges. However, if there was a death or bodily injury as a result of the car accident, you could be charged with a felony offense. Hit and run can be a very serious offense with potentially harsh consequences. If you are charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, a criminal defense attorney can be a great source of assistance during this time.
Nevada’s “Hit and Run” Laws, Obligations, and Penalties
Duty to Stop in a Collision in Nevada
Anyone who is involved in a car accident in Las Vegas or other regions in the state of Nevada has a duty to stop. This obligation is the responsibility of all drivers involved in the collision. With the duty to stop also comes additional obligations that are required by law, such as the responsibility to render aid if anyone has sustained a bodily injury and to exchange information. The information that should be exchanged includes all of the involved parties’ names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers. Additionally, you should be able to show your driver’s license if it is requested by another involved driver or a police officer who arrives on the scene. You can be charged with hit and run if you neglect to follow your duty to stop, render aid if necessary, and exchange information as required by law.
Hit and Run with Property Damage – Misdemeanor in Nevada
If you are a driver who is involved in a car accident or a collision, you must stay on the scene until you exchange information with anyone else who is involved or affected by the accident. If you don’t, then you can face hit and run charges whether you are in Las Vegas or another part of Nevada. As long as there is only property damage involved, you should wait to file an accident report with the appropriate authorities. An accident report can be helpful to prove that you stayed at the scene of the car accident so that the state will not file charges against you for hit and run.
If you cause a car accident where the collision was with a parked vehicle or caused some other type of property damage and the owner of the property is not immediately present, you should do all that you can to find the owner of the property before you leave. If the owner cannot be readily found, you should leave a note with your name, address, and phone number so that the owner can contact you regarding the property damage. You can also call the police yourself to file an accident report.
If you leave after the car accident and you neglect to exchange information, you can get a misdemeanor hit and run charge. While a misdemeanor may not seem like much, you may want to discuss your situation with a criminal defense lawyer. You can receive six demerit points against your driver’s license. You may also face fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.
Hit and Run with Bodily Injury or Death – Felony in Nevada
If you are a driver who is involved in a car accident or if you hit a pedestrian or operator of another vehicle, such as a bicycle, and that results in the death or bodily injury of another, you can face felony charges if you leave the scene. Your responsibility as a driver in the state of Nevada includes the obligation to stop and render aid, either by assisting with injuries or contacting emergency medical personnel for assistance. If you neglect to provide the appropriate assistance and flee, the state can file felony charges against you.
An important fact to note that in Las Vegas and other areas within the state of Nevada, you cannot have your sentence reduced to simply probation for a felony hit and run charge. This makes hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney especially vital in your situation. You could face a suspension or a revocation of your driver’s license as well as fines of $5,000 and up to 20 years in prison for such an offense.
Duty to File an Accident Report
As a driver in Las Vegas and throughout the state of Nevada, you have an obligation to contact law enforcement to file an accident report if you are involved in a car accident. This responsibility must be taken if the collision resulted in the death or bodily injury of another or if the property damage value is estimated to exceed $750.
Requirements for Reporting a Car Accident in Nevada
If you are involved in an accident in a public area where a police officer becomes involved and files the appropriate accident report in Las Vegas or another area in the state, you do not have any further obligation involving the reporting aspects of the accident. If no police officer arrives and files the report, you are required by law to do so. You have ten days from the time of the accident to file your report with the appropriate law enforcement authorities or you could face hit and run charges.
Filing a False Report or Failing to File
It doesn’t matter if you forget or intentionally fail to report your accident, you can face hit and run charges if you do not. Failing to file or filing a false report can result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license as well. If you file false information, you could face close to a year in jail as well as fines in addition to any other charges. Your criminal defense lawyer can provide you with additional information regarding your rights and responsibilities.
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