I Committed a Hit-and-Run. How Long Will It Take for the Police to Find Me?

A hit-and-run is not something anyone plans for. In those split seconds after an accident, fear, confusion, or uncertainty may lead you to make a decision you never thought you would – leaving the scene of an accident. It’s crucial to acknowledge that it can happen to anyone, even the most responsible drivers.

In this blog, our criminal justice attorneys explain the nuances of hit-and-run charges, the potential consequences, and how to get legal help.

If you’ve ever wondered, “How long after hit and run will police contact me?” – we’re here to provide the answers you need.

What is Considered a Hit-and-Run?

Legally referred to as “leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident” (RSMo 577.060), a hit-and-run happens when you’re involved in a car accident that results in injury or property damage but fail to stop and provide your information to the other driver or law enforcement.

Under this statute, you are required to provide:

  • Your name
  • Your insurance information
  • Your residence, including city and street number
  • The registration or license number for your vehicle
  • Your operator’s license number, if applicable

In certain cases, however, it’s possible that the person who left the accident scene had good reason. For instance, if the other driver was behaving erratically, there wasn’t a safe place to pull over, or they were in an unsafe area, this may be cause enough to leave the scene.

However, even in these cases, you are required to report the accident to local law enforcement and provide that information.

What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Hit-and-run in Missouri?

If you’re involved in a hit-and-run, the best thing you can do is self-report. Do not wait for the police to find you. Self-reporting the accident is a valid defense against these charges under Missouri law.

This should be done immediately to avoid potential charges for leaving the scene of an accident should the police locate you first.

If you are worried about self-reporting the accident and you don’t want to face the police alone, you can contact our criminal defense attorneys at Rose Legal Services, and we can do it for you.

How Long Will It Take the Police to Find Me?

It’s impossible to know. It depends on how much information they have, including whether they have a license plate number, witnesses, or a description of you or the vehicle.

There’s no fixed duration; it could take hours or days, or they may never find you at all. However, rather than waiting for the police to locate you, it’s best to contact our law firm to discuss your next steps.

Legal Consequences of a Hit-and-Run

In Missouri, a hit-and-run offense starts as a misdemeanor, but the severity of the charges can escalate depending on the severity of the accident.

If the accident resulted in more than $1,000 of property damage or caused bodily injury to another party, it could lead to a Class E felony charge. Class E felonies under Missouri law come with potential penalties of 2 to 4 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000, and an automatic revocation of your driving privileges.

Furthermore, if the accident results in a fatality, it becomes a Class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

These legal consequences highlight the importance of handling the situation responsibly and in accordance with the law. Fleeing the scene of an accident can lead to severe penalties that may have a lasting impact on your life.

Were You Involved in a Hit-and-Run? Call Rose Legal Services.

When you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident, even minimal damage can quickly add up to over $1,000, potentially resulting in felony charges. Felonies are serious and can have a profound impact on your life. Taking such a chance is not advisable.

All of this underscores the importance of taking proactive steps to defend yourself. Whether you’ve left the scene out of panic, uncertainty, lack of insurance, or concerns for your safety, it’s essential to seek legal guidance.

At Rose Legal Services, our team is here to help you defend your rights and minimize the potential damage to your future. There may be diversion programs or other mitigating factors that can offer you a path to getting back on the right track.

Don’t let a hit-and-run incident define your future. Contact us today for a consultation.

Author Bio

Scott Rose, an experienced criminal defense lawyer and founder of Rose Legal Services, has been practicing law for over 20 years. He is dedicated to representing clients facing criminal charges and providing legal representation on various cases, including DWI, misdemeanor, and felony cases.

After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, he gained valuable experience working for a United States Senator and as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Chief Judge of a United States District Court. Throughout his legal career, W. Scott Rose has committed to providing high-quality legal representation to his clients, earning him a spot in the National Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

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