Hit-and-Run DUIs in West Virginia

DUIs are serious crimes, but DUIs that cause fatalities are even worse. Hit-and-run DUIs are complex cases that have long-lasting consequences.

What Is a Hit-and-Run?

Hit and run accidents involve a collision where the driver of the vehicle speeds away instead of stopping to help the person they hit. Especially in situations where the driver hits a pedestrian or cyclist at moderate to high speeds, they may flee in fear of what they've done to avoid confronting serious injuries or a possible fatality.

This fear is understandable, but it comes at a cost. Not only is the person hit left to fend for themselves, but they also may not receive help until it's too late. This is not only insensitive behavior, but it is negligent.

Negligence is a legal term for situations where a person has a duty of care or responsibility for safety and knowingly fails to follow through. In the context of a driving scenario, drivers have a duty of care to follow road safety rules and signals in order to keep themselves and others safe on the road.

While it's not a road rule per se, checking with the other driver in an accident or calling for help if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist is understood to be responsible. Regardless of how a driver may feel in the moment, an accident doesn't just affect them.

It's essential to check on the other driver in a criminal context as well. Taking responsibility for an accident often lowers the severity of the punishment (within the legal limit). There are minimum, and maximum sentences judges adhere to, but in general, it's better for your case to check on the other driver after an accident.

Penalties for a Hit and Run in West Virginia

Erin's Law says that any driver involved in a crash resulting in the death or injury of another driver should stop and call for help. This is a legal requirement for drivers, and failure to comply has consequences.

In general, hit and run can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the damage and harm caused by accident. Felony hit and run charges may result in a five-year jail sentence and fines up to $5,000. Breaking the law may also lead to permanent license revocation.

Not only do hit and runs have criminal consequences, but these accidents can cause your car insurance rates to spike. If this happens, the insurance company may uninsured you due to high risk, making it harder to get insurance from a different carrier.

DUI Hit and Run

A factor that can aggravate a hit-and-run case is the level of intoxication at the time of the accident. DUIs with serious bodily injury are felonies that can land offenders in the state penitentiary for up to ten years.

If the person hit by an impaired driver dies within one year of the accident, the driver may be charged with negligent homicide. Impairment plus negligence is a dangerous combination for drivers. A hit and run is band enough, but the addition of a substance or alcohol can elevate the crime and lead to a longer prison sentence and other harsh penalties.

Entrust Your Case to Harley Wagner

Hit and run DUIs are complicated, which is why you need a top-notch lawyer on your side to advocate for you. Attorney Harley Wagner has dedicated his decades-long career to DUIs exclusively and understands the criminal process for these cases. Not only does Attorney Wagner fight for his clients, but he also protects their rights in court.

Schedule a free consultation with The Wagner Law Firm for more information.