Philadelphia Defense Lawyer for a Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident with Property Damage
Drivers who cause an extensive amount of property damage could be subject to criminal and civil laws depending on the circumstances of the case. Causing property damage with your vehicle may cause law enforcement to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can make your situation worse if true. If you were responsible for causing property damage while driving, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.
The Law Office of Lloyd Long is prepared to help you handle a car accident case that resulted in criminal charges. Criminal lawyer Lloyd Long has over a decade of experience litigating criminal law issues, and he will use this experience to help you pursue a desirable outcome to your case. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact The Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Laws for Car Accidents with Property Damage
If you were responsible for a car accident that caused property damage, there is a possibility that you could face criminal charges if you do not handle the situation appropriately. Pennsylvania law states that if the driver of a vehicle causes damage to a vehicle or property damage, must immediately pull over at the scene of the accident. For example, side swiping an unattended car mirror is enough to trigger this law.
Once the driver of the vehicle has stopped at the scene of the accident, they must speak with the owner of the damaged vehicle or property. If the vehicle was unattended or the owner of the property is not apparent, that does not relieve the negligent driver of any liability. The driver must make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of the property and offer their name, address, vehicle registration, and any other relevant information.
If any person is injured as a result of the car crash, the negligent driver also has a duty to render aid to the injured party. For example, if a driver collides with a street sign and a pedestrian is struck with debris, the driver must ensure the safety of the pedestrian if they need medical assistance or ask for medical assistance.
If the negligent driver cannot locate the owner of the damaged vehicle or property and law enforcement has not arrived to investigate the scene, the driver must report the accident to the nearest police station. Law enforcement will request all relevant information needed after a car accident and will help relay this information to the owner of the property.
It is also important to note that if the negligent driver is severely injured and cannot complete their obligation to exchange information with the owner of the damaged property, the burden falls to any occupants in the vehicle. This means that any physically able passengers must identify themselves, the driver of the vehicle, and the owner of the vehicle.
Even if you are responsible for causing minimal damage to a person’s vehicle or property, the situation can quickly spiral out of control if law enforcement discovers you left the scene of the accident without identifying yourself.
To learn more about car accidents involving property damage and the penalties for this offense if convicted, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney for car accidents.
Criminal Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
If you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, you could face a number of criminal penalties. These penalties typically reflect the circumstances of a particular property damage case.
If you cause a car accident with an unattended vehicle or cause other types of property damage and you do not report the accident or exchange information with the owner, this is a summary offense. In Pennsylvania, summary offenses carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $300 criminal fine.
If a driver is responsible for a car accident that caused property damage or the driver struck a vehicle that had an occupant and fled the scene, they can be convicted of a third degree misdemeanor. Hit and runs that occur in this manner are punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of $2,500.
To avoid criminal charges and preserve your driving record, it is always best to pull over after causing a car accident that may have caused damage to a vehicle or other property. Additionally, if a person was injured in the accident and you fled the scene, the penalties if convicted will be severe.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Handle Your Car Accident Case
If you or a family member was arrested for a car accident involving extensive property damage, contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Lloyd Long is dedicated to providing you with the legal representation needed to defend your case. Our firm does not pursue a large volume of cases so that we can focus on giving every client’s case the diligent attention it needs. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact The Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.