Attorney Bob Keefer
Fighting for Your Rights as a Motorist
If a driver fails to report a car accident involving property damage in Virginia, he or she can be charged with hit and run. It includes occupied and unoccupied property and vehicles.
Virginia law can consider such hit and run charges felonies or misdemeanors, and the conviction will remain on the driver’s permanent criminal record.
Responsibility of Driver in a VA Hit and Run
If a driver is involved in a car accident, he must stop close to the accident site without obstructing traffic. He must provide the following details to the property owner or the other driver: his name, address, vehicle registration number, and driving license number. If he fails to provide these details and leaves the accident scene, it leads to a Virginia hit and run charge.
Hit and Run – Unoccupied Property
Virginia Hit and Run Charges involving damage to unoccupied property or an unattended vehicle fall under VA Code 46.2-896. The driver must find the owner of said vehicle or property and provide his necessary details.
If the driver cannot locate the owner, he must leave a note at the accident site with his vehicle information and contact details. He must inform the police in writing within 24 hours with the following information: date, time, and location of the accident with property damage description. If the driver fails to do so, they will be charged with a hit and run of unoccupied property.
Hit and Run – Occupied Property
Virginia Hit and Run Charges involving damage to occupied property or vehicles fall under VA Code 46.2-894. The driver must inform the police, driver, or property owner of the following details: his name, address, vehicle identification number, and driving license number.
Suppose the driver is injured and unable to furnish the details. In that case, he should make reasonable efforts to find the property owner as soon as possible and give the information to him and the police. Depending upon the extent of damage, it is considered a felony or misdemeanor if the driver fails to submit the details.
What is the passenger’s liability in a Hit and Run?
If the driver fails to inform the owner or police, the passengers involved must report the accident and driver’s details to law enforcement. If the passenger knows that the driver has not reported the accident, he must do so within 24 hours, or the law can also charge him with the crime.
Penalties under Virginia Hit and Run Charges
It is a punishable offense with fines, jail, and suspension/revocation of driver’s license. Moreover, the DMV adds demerit points to the offender’s Virginia driving record.
- Damage up to $250 to unoccupied property – a class 4 misdemeanor, is punishable with a fine of up to $250, and the DMV adds three demerit points to the offender’s Virginia driving record.
- Damage of $250-$500 to unoccupied property – a class 1 misdemeanor, is punishable with a fine of up to $500, up to 12 months of jail, and the DMV adds three demerit points to the driver’s record.
- Damage more than $500 to the unoccupied property – a class 1 misdemeanor, is punishable with a fine of up to $2500, up to 12 months of jail, and the DMV adds four demerit points to the driver’s record. Moreover, it includes driving license suspension for up to 6 months.
- Damage up to $500 to occupied property – a class 1 misdemeanor, is punishable with a fine of up to $2500, up to 12 months of jail, and DMV adds four demerit points to the driver’s record.
- Damage of $500-$1000 to occupied property – a class 1 misdemeanor, is punishable with a fine of up to $2500, up to 12 months of jail, and DMV adds four demerit points to the offender’s Virginia record. Moreover, it includes driving license suspension for up to 6 months.
- Damage more than $1000 to occupied property – a class 5 felony, is punishable with a fine of up to $2500, up to 10 years of jail, and DMV adds six demerit points to the driver’s record. Moreover, it includes driving license revocation for one year.
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- Attorney Keefer is one of the few people in Virginia to call himself a NHTSA Certified Field Sobriety Instructor.
- He has completed the DOT Certified Breath Technician course on the EC/IR II, Virginia’s breath tester for evidence.
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