You’re in the parking lot, backing out of a spot when you bump into a parked car behind you. It was a light tap, so you expect there to be little, or no, damage to the other vehicle and decide not to wait for the owner, so you head home. This is a pretty common scenario, and many people do not realize that this is considered a hit-and-run.
Often, people think of hit-and-runs as situations where one car slams into another, causing damage to the car and the individual, and the driver at fault drives off. Not all hit-and-runs are as hostile as this, which can make them hard to recognize, especially if you are the one to hit the other car. In 2015, there were over 700,000 hit-and-run accidents. What are the hit-and-run laws in Colorado and what charges can you face for committing them?
Hit-and-run accident laws in Colorado
Any time you leave the scene of an accident without leaving your name and a way to contact you counts as a hit-and-run, which is why you should never leave the scene of an accident, even if it was minor. Each classification of this type of crime results in a criminal charge, jail time and a fine. The amount of jail time and severity of the fine depends on the severity of the incident and your unique case.
- Damage to the other’s vehicle/property: Class 2 misdemeanor, jail time and a fine
- Injury to the other party: Class 1 misdemeanor, jail time and a fine
- Serious injury to the other party: Class 4 felony, jail time and a fine
- Death to the other party: Class 3 felony, jail time and a fine
Hit-and-run charges are difficult to deal with, especially if the act resulted in grave injury or death. Having a good defense team on your side could help to lower the sentence or prepare you for the consequences.