Navigating Pennsylvania hit and run law can be complex, particularly for commercial drivers who face additional penalties and potential consequences for their careers. Understanding the legal obligations and repercussions is crucial for all drivers, especially those holding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). We will delve into Pennsylvania hit and run law, otherwise known as “Accidental Damage to Unattended Vehicle or Property”, explain the different types of accidents, discuss the specific implications for CDL drivers, and provide guidance on the steps to take following a hit-and-run accident.
Pennsylvania’s hit-and-run laws require drivers to stop, provide information and assist the injured after an accident.
Fleeing the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania can have serious legal consequences including fines, jail time and license suspension for CDL holders.
Working with a specialized Hit & Run Defense Attorney guarantees thorough investigation, effective defense strategy and positive outcome for your case.
Contacting The Shelton Firm could be a crucial step in navigating your legal situation effectively.
Pennsylvania’s Hit-and-Run Laws Explained
Pennsylvania’s hit-and-run laws mandate drivers to stop, provide information, and assist the injured after an accident. In Pennsylvania, the statute pertaining to damage to unattended vehicles or property is essentially the hit-and-run statute. According to Section 3743 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, this offense, also known as “Accidents involving damage to attended vehicle or property”, occurs when the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident causing damage to any vehicle or property, fails to stop and provide their information or render aid. Violation of this law carries serious legal consequences.
Fleeing the scene can lead to severe penalties, including incarceration, fines, and CDL license suspension. The time limit for police to file charges for hit-and-run accidents is 30 days for summary offenses and up to two years for misdemeanor hit-and-run offenses. Should you have left the accident scene, promptly reaching out to a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney for guidance on resolving the issue and preserving your legal rights is advisable.
Drivers involved in accidents must fulfill specific legal obligations, such as exchanging information and rendering aid to the injured. Failure to follow these requirements can result in legal repercussions, including being charged with a serious traffic offenses.
Legal Obligations After an Accident
In Pennsylvania, drivers involved in accidents are obligated to:
Notify the police and file a report
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved
Record all pertinent details, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance details
Gather evidence, such as taking pictures of the accident scene and any damages
Obtain a police report, which can aid with insurance claims and legal proceedings.
Under Pennsylvania law, ‘rendering aid’ refers to the legal obligation of a driver involved in a car accident to provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including providing necessary medical attention or arranging for medical help if needed. Not providing assistance can result in legal repercussions, including serious traffic offenses.
Consequences of Fleeing the Scene
Repercussions of fleeing the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania can range from summary offenses to felony charges, depending on the severity of the accident. For example, if a driver is found guilty of a hit-and-run involving damage to an unattended vehicle, they may be subject to a fine of $300 and/or a jail sentence of up to 90 days. In cases where the driver causes serious bodily injury, the penalty includes a minimum 90-day prison sentence and a minimum $1,000 fine.
Significant financial penalties and even incarceration can result from hit-and-run accidents in Pennsylvania. For CDL drivers, a hit-and-run violation can also lead to a CDL ticket, which may have further consequences on their career.
Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents in Pennsylvania
Hit-and-run accidents in Pennsylvania can involve property damage or cases with injuries or fatalities. Motorists must stop their vehicles, remain at the scene, and provide reasonable assistance to the injured parties if an accident causes injuries or fatalities. Not complying with these requirements can lead to severe legal ramifications.
Property Damage Incidents
In property damage incidents, drivers are legally obligated to report the accident and provide necessary information, such as:
driver’s license number
vehicle registration information
Typical scenarios of hit-and-run accidents involving property damage occur when a driver flees the scene after causing damage to another person’s vehicle or property without stopping to exchange information or report the incident to the authorities. This is deemed a serious offense under hit and run law and can result in criminal charges and penalties.
For example, if a driver is found guilty of a hit-and-run involving damage to an unattended vehicle in Pennsylvania, they may be subject to a fine of $300 and/or a jail sentence of up to 90 days.
Injury or Fatality Cases
Injury or fatality cases involve more serious penalties for hit-and-run drivers, including incarceration and monetary penalties. In Pennsylvania, the minimum prison sentence for hit-and-run drivers involved in injury or fatality cases is 90 days, with the maximum sentence being up to 7 years. The fines for hit-and-run drivers involved in injury or fatality cases in Pennsylvania can range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000.
If the incident results in injury or death, the driver is obligated to stop at the scene immediately. Failure to do so can result in a second-degree felony charge, with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 3 years and a mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Holders and Hit-and-Run Accidents
CDL holders face additional consequences for hit-and-run violations, such as license disqualification and potential career ramifications. A CDL holder who leaves the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania can incur a one-year disqualification of their CDL license.
Grasping the specific legal duties, penalties, and possible career implications of hit-and-run accidents is vital for CDL drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle.
CDL Penalties for Hit-and-Run Violations
Penalties for CDL holders involved in hit-and-run accidents include license suspension, fines, and potential job loss. For example, if a CDL holder commits a hit-and-run violation, they can face a one-year disqualification of their CDL license. Anyone found guilty of a major offense for a second time in their lifetime will be permanently disqualified from holding a commercial driver’s license. This disqualification is irreversible..
CDL holders need to understand these penalties and their potential career impact. Retaining a seasoned attorney, like those at The Shelton Firm, can assist in maneuvering through the intricate legal environment of hit-and-run accidents for CDL drivers.
Protecting Your CDL and Career
Grasping hit-and-run laws and seeking legal aid is crucial in safeguarding your CDL and career. A CDL lawyer can:
Evaluate the details of the case
Devise a persuasive defense strategy
Negotiate with the prosecution to potentially have the charges reduced or dismissed
Advocate for alternative sentencing options, such as probation or community service, in lieu of more severe punishments like license suspension or imprisonment.
Hiring a specialized CDL lawyer offers several benefits, including:
A comprehensive understanding of traffic laws, regulations, and the commercial driving industry
Tailored legal advice specific to commercial drivers
Effective defense strategies for commercial drivers
Steps to Take Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
After a hit-and-run accident, taking swift actions at the scene, reporting the accident, and filing insurance claims is vital to safeguard your rights. This includes:
Contacting law enforcement
Seeking medical attention
Filing a police report
Initiating the insurance claims process
Immediate Actions at the Scene
On a hit-and-run accident scene, gathering vital evidence is imperative. This includes:
Photographs of the scene
Details about the offending vehicle
Any physical proof like accident debris
Additionally, reaching out to law enforcement is crucial, as they can aid in the hit-and-run incident investigation.
Obtaining medical attention directly after a hit-and-run accident is crucial, despite any absence of discomfort. Certain injuries may not be immediately visible, and obtaining medical attention can assist in identifying and treating any concealed injuries. Prompt medical attention can also aid in recording your injuries for insurance and legal purposes.
Reporting and Insurance Claims
It’s vital to report a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania within 24 hours. You can contact 911 or your local police or sheriff’s department to report the accident. To file a police report, you must complete the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Driver’s Accident Report form and send it to the indicated address. Having the make, model, and body style of all the vehicles involved is beneficial.
Kick-starting the claims process with your insurance firm requires informing them and supplying accident details. They will steer you through the claim filing process. Filing a police report and reaching out to your insurance firm to start the claims procedure is crucial.
Reach out to The Shelton Firm for Legal Assistance
The Shelton Firm can provide legal assistance in navigating the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident. Their extensive experience and expertise in handling traffic cases, including hit-and-run cases in Pennsylvania, ensure that you receive the best possible legal representation. The Shelton Firm provides legal services for victims of auto accidents, including hit-and-run accidents.
Enlisting the assistance of The Shelton Firm can be beneficial in reducing the penalties for hit-and-run violations in Pennsylvania. A CDL lawyer can:
Evaluate the details of the case
Devise a persuasive defense strategy
Negotiate with the prosecution to potentially have the charges reduced or dismissed.
Call The Shelton Firm for the best Defense Against Hit-and-Run Charges in Pennsylvania
The Shelton Firm provides expert defense against hit-and-run charges in Pennsylvania, utilizing common defenses and working closely with clients. By engaging their services, you can ensure a thorough investigation, strong defense strategy, and the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t let a hit-and-run charge derail your life and career – contact The Shelton Firm today.
Common defenses against hit-and-run charges include proving presence at the accident scene or challenging the prosecution’s evidence. In Pennsylvania, the legal provisions to demonstrate presence at the accident scene in a hit-and-run case necessitate the prosecutor to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual departed the accident scene. If the person stayed at the scene, it can be utilized as evidence to counter the hit-and-run allegation.
Challenging the prosecution’s evidence in a hit-and-run case involves:
Disputing witness statements
Challenging physical evidence
Analyzing circumstantial evidence
Assessing the strength of the prosecution’s case
Other potential defenses against hit-and-run charges include:
Responding to an emergency
Lack of awareness of an injury
Proving that the accused is not the driver
Claiming no proof of damage or accident
Asserting that the incident was not a hit-and-run.
Working with our Hit-and-Run Defense Attorney
Collaborating with our hit-and-run defense attorney promises an exhaustive investigation, robust defense strategy, and the most favorable result for your case. The Shelton Firm’s defense attorney offers legal services for Pennsylvania hit-and-run cases in areas like Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, DUI, Divorce, and Separation. Their specialty lies in personal injury law cases involving auto accidents, including hit-and-run cases.
A comprehensive inquiry by The Shelton Firm’s hit-and-run defense attorney involves:
Assessing surveillance footage
Assessing police reports
Evaluating any other pertinent data
This is done to construct a robust defense case. Retaining our hit-and-run defense attorney assures an all-encompassing investigation, solid defense strategy, and the most beneficial result for your case.
Understanding Pennsylvania’s hit-and-run laws, particularly for CDL drivers, is crucial for protecting your rights and career. In this blog post, we have discussed the legal obligations, consequences, and specific implications for CDL drivers. We have also provided guidance on the steps to take following a hit-and-run accident, the importance of a strong defense strategy, and the benefits of working with an experienced hit-and-run defense attorney. Don’t let a hit-and-run charge impact your life – take action and safeguard your future by contacting The Shelton Firm today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run in PA?
In order to convict someone of a hit-and-run in Pennsylvania, prosecutors must demonstrate that the accused left the scene of the accident beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence such as whether or not the defendant remained at the crash site can be used to dispute the charge.
What is the charge for leaving the scene of an accident in PA?
Leaving the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania can result in a charge of either a third-degree misdemeanour, a first-degree misdemeanour or a felony of the third degree, depending on the severity of the incident.
What is the meaning of unattended vehicle?
An “unattended vehicle” refers to a vehicle that is not currently being operated or supervised by its owner or driver. This could be a parked car, a vehicle left idle on the side of the road, or any vehicle that is without a driver or passenger present at the time of an incident.
What is the crime code for damage to unattended property in PA?
Pennsylvania’s criminal code considers damaging unattended property as an offense and this is categorized under code 3745. Check here for the original text of the law.
What are the penalties for hit-and-run drivers involved in injury or fatality cases in Pennsylvania?
Hit-and-run drivers involved in injury or fatality cases in Pennsylvania face a minimum prison sentence of 90 days and fines up to $10,000. Maximum sentence can be up to 7 years.
Read more info about traffic tickets and CDL offenses. Go deeper into the problems that truck drivers face when they get into trouble on the road. We talk about the laws, the bad things that can happen, and how CDL lawyers can help.
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