Topic: Criminal Law
Millions of car accidents occur in the United States each year, and while the majority of these are not serious, many result in injury or death. A significant percentage of accidents are due to at least one party driving while under the influence of alcohol or other impairing substances, and accidents that do involve alcohol tend to be more serious than those that do not. Therefore, the temptation to try and flee the scene of the crime exists for many of those involved, especially when their judgment is impaired due to being intoxicated. However, leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated significantly increases the risk of harsher sentences, and it can be crucial to keep calm in these situations so that you do not make things worse.
DUI Hit and Run Statistics
It is a widely known fact that drivers under the influence of alcohol or other substances are significantly more at risk of accidents, but many Americans do not comprehend the extent to which this is true. According to statistics released by the CDC, roughly 30 percent of all fatal car accidents are directly caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. More than 10 percent of accidents reported by law enforcement officials are hit and runs.
While not all hit and run cases are solved, the vast majority of those that are solved see the perpetrator punished much more severely than if they had taken responsibility for the accident right away. The temptation to try to stay out of trouble entirely is obvious, but the consequences and risk of being caught tend to outweigh the odds that a driver will get away with a hit and run. The emotional guilt associated with committing a hit and run and fleeing the scene also tends to affect people very strongly, regardless of whether they are caught or not.
Consequences for Fleeing the Scene
Hit and run accidents, especially those that are caused by driving while intoxicated, tend to carry some serious consequences. Aside from receiving a DWI in South Jersey, more significant charges can be leveled against someone fleeing the scene of an accident, such as reckless driving, failing to stop or render aid, aggravated assault by auto, and even vehicular manslaughter. Even if the victim is not fatally injured, charges can be severe enough to permanently affect one’s life and career.
While anyone driving under the influence involved in an accident will face repercussions, it is always better to try to render aid and await law enforcement. Reporting the accident yourself can not only help the victim receive treatment in a timely fashion, but can help you reduce your sentence in court. Some instances of a DWI in South Jersey have seen minimal or no jail time for perpetrators who report the accident and cooperate with law enforcement.
Cherry Hill DWI Lawyers at The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Fight for Clients
If you have been in an accident while under the influence, whether you fled the scene or not, Michele Finizio can help. Strong representation for clients in the South Jersey area helps reduce sentences and ensures that your case is presented fairly. Call 609-230-0374 or contact us online to speak with our Cherry Hill DWI lawyers.