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17Jun, 14

In Illinois, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury or death, you must immediately stop at the scene of the accident and remain there until you have provided your name, address and registration to the person you struck.  Furthermore, you must provide reasonable assistance to the injured, including, if necessary, carrying them to a doctor. You also must file a police report within one half hour of the accident or of being released from a hospital.

If you have only damaged the other person’s car, you must still immediately stop and provide your information to the other driver.

In accidents involving injury or death, a failure to stop can result in a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison. If you fail to file a police report, you may be charged with a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years. If the other party died, you are now subject to a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4 to 15 years. When the accident only involves property damage, you may still be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail plus a fine.

If you are charged with such a crime, contact an attorney immediately and do not speak to anyone, especially the police, about your situation. What you think of as a reasonable explanation may be the evidence the state needs to convict you. As with most crimes, the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney can look for holes in the state’s case. Even if the evidence is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse can often negotiate a better plea agreement then you might on your own.

 

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