Tennessee requires drivers to pull over and make sure of everyone’s safety whenever vehicles collide. If you fail to do so, you open yourself up to charges for a hit and run. Given the difficulty law enforcement will have in identifying and apprehending you, you can bet that they will prosecute you to the fullest extent of state law. If you suspect you are involved in a hit and run in Tennessee, please read on, then contact an experienced Memphis criminal defense attorney today.
What constitutes a hit and run in Tennessee?
Per Tennessee Code section 55-10-101, drivers involved in a car accident of any sort must stop, render necessary assistance and give personal identifying information to a police officer, witness, injured person or property owner. Drivers in this situation must provide the following:
- Operator’s license number
- Registration number
If drivers do not have the ability to report this information to any appropriate person for any reason, they must notify local law enforcement authorities of the details of the accident. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges.
What consequences do you face for a hit and run in Tennessee?
If you have the misfortune to sustain a conviction for a hit and run, you can expect severe penalties. Your exact penalties will depend on the severity of the underlying accident. Determining factors include the extent or lack thereof of injuries or deaths and the number of times, if any, the defendant has previously sustained convictions for this offense. With that in mind, the penalties are as follows:
Without injuries, i.e. only property damage:
- Class C misdemeanor
- Up to thirty days in jail
- A fine of up to fifty dollars, with the potential for more depending on the dollar amount of the property damage
- Suspension of the individual’s license
- Mandatory attendance of driver’s education classes, if court-ordered
With injuries or fatalities:
- Class A misdemeanor
- Up to eleven months and twenty-nine days in jail
- A fine of up to $2,500
- Suspension of an individual’s driver’s license
- Potential for upgraded charge of Vehicular Manslaughter if the hit and run led to death
Naturally, if law enforcement finds that the defendant had alcohol or any other intoxicating substances in their system, law enforcement can and will push for harsher penalties.
How do you defend against a hit-and-run charge?
If law enforcement has charged you with a hit and run, you should speak with one of our skilled Memphis, Tennessee lawyers who will discuss the particulars of your case and employ one of the following defenses:
- Mistaken identity
- No proof of damage or accident
- You did not, in fact, flee the scene; the alleged victim did
Our firm is here to help you fight for your future.
Contact Our Experienced Memphis Firm
If you need assistance with a personal injury, criminal, or business litigation matter, contact Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, P.C. today to schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced legal team.