You’re involved in an accident. Maybe you hit another car, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. You panic and flee the scene. What are the consequences? Will you be arrested? Fined? Put in jail? Minnesota’s hit-and-run law spells out the potential consequences for leaving the scene of an accident.
Driver Obligations Under Minnesota’s Collision (Hit-and-Run) Law
Minnesota’s traffic statutes set forth what drivers of a motor vehicle must do when involved in a collision. First, drivers in Minnesota must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the collision and investigate what they hit.
Drivers should try not to obstruct other traffic following an accident. If it is necessary to stop a short distance from the collision, that is acceptable.
Second, if the driver believes they may have injured someone or caused damage, the driver must stay at the scene of the accident. The driver may leave the scene only after they have shared their information with all individuals involved in the collision.The driver must provide his or her:
- Date of birth, and
- Mailing address or e-mail address.
The driver also must provide the license plate number of the vehicle being driven.
If asked by a police officer, the driver must show their driver license. In addition, if requested, the driver must provide the name and address of the insurance company and agent that provides liability insurance for the vehicle. If the driver does not provide insurance information at the accident scene, the driver must provide it within 72 hours after the accident.
Finally, when a collision causes injuries or death to another person, the driver must notify the police and file an accident report.
Minnesota Hit-and-Run Law Involving Property Damage or Unattended Vehicles
Drivers who are involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle or one that causes property damage are similarly required to stop their vehicles. They too must reasonably investigate any damage they caused. In these circumstances, the driver must try to locate and notify the owner of the unattended vehicle or damaged property.
The driver then must provide his or her name and address to the owner and report the collision to law enforcement. If the owner cannot be found, the driver must leave a note on the car providing this information.
Minnesota Hit-and-Run Penalties
If you leave the scene of a vehicle accident, you could face significant criminal charges. The extent of the penalties for a hit and run in Minnesota depend largely on the severity of the injuries and property damage caused.
For a misdemeanor hit and run, you may face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in prison. For cases involving severe injuries or death, you could face fines of up to $5,000 and up to three years in jail. In many hit-and-run cases, the state may revoke your driver’s license.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Minnesota
If you have been involved in a Minnesota hit-and-run accident, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to obtain the best possible outcome of your case.
Contact us today for a free hit-and-run consultation. We are committed to providing each client with personal attention while understanding that every hit-and-run case can be unique.
We will listen to the facts of your case and pursue options designed to meet the needs of you and your family.