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Nevada Hit and Run Accident Laws

May 18, 2020Blog, Legal Tips

Getting into a car accident is stressful. Your heart starts beating, your adrenaline starts pumping, and your brain works in overdrive. Despite knowing that you’re supposed to stay at the scene of an accident until police arrive, sometimes your fear response takes over. When the excitement wears off, you may find yourself wondering what the repercussions are for leaving the scene of an accident. In this guide, we’ll go over what happens if you are in an accident and leave the scene, and how to provide your best defense if you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident.

If You Are the Driver in An Accident

Nevada state law requires both drivers in an accident to stay until police arrive or to exchange information with one another in cases where police are not required. This means that even if you were not responsible for an accident, you are legally required to stay at the scene until police arrive and give you permission to leave. If you leave before police arrive on the scene, it’s considered a hit and run accident and criminal charges can be brought up against you.

The type of criminal charges that can be brought against you for leaving the scene are dependent on damages done:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted only in property damage is a misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, and/or up to 6 points against your license.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in personal injury or death is a Category B Felony. This is a much more serious offense, and is punishable by up to 20 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, and the revocation of your license.

Further charges can be brought up against you in complicated hit-and-run cases, including cases that involve injury to multiple people or cases where drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor.

If You Are a Passenger in An Accident

As a passenger, you do not have the same responsibility to stay at the scene of an accident as a driver would. However, if someone was injured or killed in the accident, you do have some obligations. Accidents in which people were killed or injured are required to be reported to the police, and leaving the scene before the police have been called is a crime. You are also required to provide reasonable assistance to anyone who was injured if you are physically capable of doing so.

When It’s Okay to Leave the Scene of An Accident

There are exceptions to laws against leaving the scene of an accident. One major exception occurs when you are seriously injured in the accident. When the driver of a car is physically incapable of filing a report, they are not required to do so at the time of the accident but are required to file the report as soon as it is possible to do so.

Another time it may be permissible to leave the scene of an accident is when you hit a parked car. In these cases, you are required to try to find the owner, but if you can not do so, you are permitted to leave a note with your Vin #, Insurance Information, and Contact Information so that the owner of the other car can follow up when they return to the scene.

What To Do If You Left the Scene of An Accident

If you find yourself in a position where you left the scene of an accident, it’s important to contact the police as soon as possible. You may face a lesser sentence if you turn yourself in as soon as you calm down.

When considering the arrest of a loved one, or yourself after being involved in a hit and run accident, it helps to know what you’re up against.  Contact us today to discuss options for release after arrest. We are here to help!