What is Hit and Run Driving In Louisiana?
Hit and run driving is an intentional crime where the driver of a vehicle, who is involved in or causes an accident, fails to stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident to give his identity and to render reasonable aid. The intent required for hit and run driving is general criminal intent. This means that the driver must have known that he was involved in or caused and accident and refused to render aid and to give his identity.
After a motorist is involved in or causes an accident, he fulfills his obligation under the hit and run statute by stopping at the scene and giving his name, address, and license number of his vehicle to the victim or by reporting the accident to the police or a 911 operator while identifying himself to the person with whom he talks. It is not sufficient after an accident for a driver involved in the accident to simply stop at the scene and later call for emergency help or notify the police of the accident. The hit and run statute requires the driver to also give his “name, address, and the license number of his vehicle” to those at the scene of the accident or to “report the accident to the police.”
To be guilty of hit and run driving, the driver must be aware that an accident occurred. If the driver is not aware that he caused an accident, he is not guilty of hit and run driving. The Louisiana Hit and Run Driving Statute can be found in Louisiana Revised Statute 14:100 and is detailed below:
La. R.S. 14:100 – Hit and Run Driving
- Hit and run driving is the intentional failure of the driver of a vehicle involved in or causing any accident, to stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident, to give his identity, and to render reasonable aid.
- For the purpose of this Section:
(1) “To give his identity”, means that the driver of any vehicle involved in any accident shall give his name, address, and the license number of his vehicle, or shall report the accident to the police.
(2) “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.
(3) “Vehicle” includes a watercraft.
(4) “Accident” means an incident or event resulting in damage to property or injury to person.
C.(1)(a) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving where there is no death or serious bodily injury shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(b) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving where there is no death or serious bodily injury shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than six months, or both when: (i) there is evidence that the vehicle operator consumed alcohol or used drugs or a controlled dangerous substance prior to the accident; (ii) the consumption of the alcohol, drugs, or a controlled dangerous substance contributed to the accident; and (iii) the driver failed to stop, give his identity, or render aid with the knowledge that his actions could affect an actual or potential present, past, or future criminal investigation or proceeding.
(2) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving, when death or serious bodily injury is a direct result of the accident and when the driver knew or should have known that death or serious bodily injury has occurred, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both.
(3) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving where all of the following conditions are met shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than five years nor more than twenty years:
(a) Death or serious bodily injury is a direct result of the accident.
(b) The driver knew or must have known that the vehicle he was operating was involved in an accident or that his operation of the vehicle was the direct cause of an accident.
(c) The driver had been previously convicted of any of the following:
(i) A violation of R.S. 14:98, or a law or an ordinance of any state or political subdivision prohibiting operation of any vehicle or means of transportation or conveyance while intoxicated, impaired, or while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any controlled dangerous substance on two or more occasions within ten years of this offense.
(ii) A violation of R.S. 14:32.1-vehicular homicide.
(iii) A violation of R.S. 14:39.1-vehicular negligent injuring.
(iv) A violation of R.S. 14:39.2-first degree vehicular negligent injuring.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free, no obligation consultation. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule.
This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.
Posted April 24, 2019.