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Understanding Maryland Hit and Run Laws

Maryland Hit and Run Laws

In Maryland, the law requires all drivers involved in an accident to remain at the scene, regardless of who was at fault. Leaving the scene of an accident is referred to as a hit and run. Being charged with a hit and run carries serious penalties, so knowing and understanding the laws are essential.

This article will discuss Maryland’s hit and run laws and the consequences you can face if convicted. We will also explore common causes of hit and run accidents and the benefits of retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Maryland Hit and Run Laws

Every driver involved in a car accident involving injury, property damage, or death must remain on the scene of an accident until they have met the requirements outlined in Maryland Transportation Code §20-104.

  • Reasonably assist parties injured in the accident.
  • Call an ambulance or arrange transportation to a hospital or medical facility if someone is seriously injured.
  • If requested, provide their name, address, VIN (vehicle identification number), and driver’s license information to injured parties or anyone attending to damaged property.
  • Provide the information listed above to any police officer responding to the accident.

If someone involved in the accident cannot provide the necessary information, they must contact the authorities and report the accident as soon as possible.

Penalties for a Hit and Run Charge in Maryland

In Maryland, hit and run convictions are punishable as follows. Per Maryland Transportation Code §27-113, leaving the scene of an accident that results in:

  • Property Damage — Up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
  • Serious Bodily Injury — Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Death — Up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine

Additionally, drivers charged with a hit and run may have eight to twelve points put on their driver’s license.

Common Causes of Hit and Run Accidents

When a driver leaves the scene of an accident, they don’t want to be held accountable for the accident. It could also be because they want to avoid interacting with the police. Here are some common reasons why drivers leave the scene of an accident.

  • They are driving without automobile insurance.
  • They are driving without a license.
  • They were speeding, driving recklessly, or distracted when the accident occurred.
  • The accident occurred when they were committing another crime.
  • They know someone was injured in the accident.
  • They don’t want to get points on their license

How Police Locate Hit and Run Drivers

The Yellow Alert Program is a program that was designed to track down hit and run drivers. This program allowed law enforcement to share information quickly to locate hit and run drivers. Along with the Yellow Alert Program, here are some types of evidence police can use to find a driver who left the scene of an accident.

  • Eyewitness Statements — When witnesses see a driver fleeing the scene and can describe the vehicle, police can use this information to locate the driver. Information such as the description of the driver, license plate numbers, and even photos of the car and/or driver.
  • Camera/Video Footage — There are often cameras at intersections, and businesses sometimes have cameras facing the road. When this footage is available, police can review it for information that can lead them to the driver.
  • Automobile Damage — If the paint was transferred when the vehicles collided, it could be analyzed in a lab to determine the color and brand of paint and the types of vehicles that use this paint. It’s also possible that when the driver takes the car to the shop for repairs, the shop may notice that the damage matches a police report and will notify the authorities.

Benefits of Retaining a Criminal Defense Attorney

A hit and run conviction can not only affect your driving privileges, it can affect your freedom and your livelihood. With the consequences you are facing, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is vital.

A criminal defense attorney can help your case by building an appropriate defense strategy to give you a chance to fight the charges against you. They can also help negotiate a plea deal, ensure your driver’s license isn’t suspended or revoked, ensure the charge doesn’t affect your criminal record, and help you avoid jail time.

Let Jeremy Widder Law Give You a Fighting Change Against Your Hit and Run Charge

When police identify a hit and run driver, they will take the necessary steps to find the driver and arrest them. Having a hit and run conviction on your record can have a significant impact on your driving privileges and your livelihood.

Jeremy Widder Law can help if you’re facing a hit-and-run charge. We have represented hundreds of clients facing a variety of criminal charges. We won’t let your case go unheard. Our team is committed to listening to your story and helping you work toward your desired outcome.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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