How to Avoid Hit-and-Run Charges in Maryland
With so many vehicles on the road every day — not to mention ever-changing weather conditions — car accidents and truck accidents are a common occurrence. Recognizing this unfortunate reality, Maryland and other U.S. states have laws that prohibit a driver from leaving the scene of an accident. Often referred to as a hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense with severe penalties.
In order to understand the boundaries of Maryland hit-and-run laws, the following sections will outline key definitions and requirements.
Qualifying Accidents in Maryland
As outlined in Maryland Code of Transportation 20-104, certain types of accidents require the driver or other parties to stop and report information or render aid. Specifically, the driver must stop if the accident involves:
- Harm or injury to another person;
- Death of another person;
- Damage to property.
Drivers involved in the qualifying accidents listed above must stop their vehicle — without obstructing traffic in an unnecessary way — and at least report their information.
Accident Reporting Requirements in Maryland
Maryland Code of Transportation 20-104 also establishes several post-accident reporting requirements in Maryland. After a qualifying accident in Maryland, the driver must report their:
- Full name;
- Vehicle registration; and
- Driver’s license number.
Additionally, the driver must report this information to:
- Any person who was injured in the accident;
- The owner or holder of property damaged in the accident; and
- Police officers or law enforcement agents investigating the accident.
If there are no other people at the scene of the accident, then the driver must report the accident to police or law enforcement as well as provide their full name, address, vehicle registration and driver’s license number.
Penalties for Hit-and-Run Crimes in Maryland
Maryland Code of Transportation 27-113 provides several penalties for hit-and-run crimes. Though the penalties depend on the individual circumstances of the offense.
If the driver knew — or should have known — that the accident resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, then it is a felony crime. Upon conviction, the driver could face 60 months in jail and $5,000 in fines.
If the driver knew — or should have known — that the accident resulted in the death of another person, then it is also a felony crime. But the penalties escalate sharply. Upon conviction, the driver could face 120 months in jail and $10,000 in fines.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you were involved in a car or truck accident, it is important to adhere to all legal reporting requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland for assistance with your case.