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What Is The Penalty For Fleeing the Scene of An Accident in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, law enforcement agents take traffic laws very seriously. This is why a hit-and-run accident can lead to severe penalties.

  • What constitutes a hit-and-run in Louisiana?

  • What are the penalties you face?

  • What offenses can you be charged with?

These are all very important questions, and here’s a quick guide that will answer them all for you.

Hit-and-run accident: How does the state define it?

According to state law, if you are driving a car and get in an accident, you are supposed to stop and render aid to everyone involved in the accident and exchange your contact information with the other party. You must absolutely follow these procedures after the accident. The failure to do so is considered being in a hit-and-run accident.

If you flee the scene of the road accident, it can lead to felony or misdemeanor charges.

Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run

Most cases of hit and run in Louisiana are charged as misdemeanor offenses. Such transgressions can attract imprisonment of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $500. If the prosecutor proves that the driver who fled the scene had consumed alcohol and/or drugs before the accident which played a significant role in causing the accident, they could receive a mandatory 10 days imprisonment.

Felony Hit and Run

A hit-and-run accident that has caused serious bodily harm or death could lead to felony charges for the driver who fled the scene. If the prosecutor is able to prove that the injury or death was the direct result of the accident, which you knew and still ran away instead of rendering help, you should expect to be charged with a felony. The penalties can include imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to 10 years, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both. In case of a felony offense, the judge might decide to suspend your sentence and place you on probation.

Administrative Penalties

Upon fleeing the scene of an accident, you might face license suspension, even if no one was hurt. Following a hit-and-run accident, if you lose your driving privileges, there shall follow a mandatory period of license suspension. Moreover, you will have to pay a $60 reinstatement fee in addition to any other fees that you might owe.

Another cost of being involved in a hit-and-run accident is facing a significant increase in your insurance rates. You might also be expected to pay compensation to any victims who were injured. All of this is possible in addition to criminal penalties.

Final Word

In Louisiana, all drivers must take certain measures following a car accident. They must:

  • Stop and provide aid to anyone who needs it

  • Exchange insurance information, phone numbers, driver’s license information, etc. with each other,

  • Call the police and report the accident, and

  • Summon emergency aid as soon as possible, if they find someone is hurt.

If you fail to do any of these things in case of a car accident, you could face serious legal consequences, an example being the suspension of your driver’s license.

Fleeing the scene of an accident is considered a criminal offense in Louisiana. The penalties can escalate if the prosecutors determine that people were seriously injured or worse, killed. In order to fight these charges and keep your driving privileges, you will need a highly skilled and experienced hit-and-run defense attorney to represent you.

Contact Us Today

Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person or it can be virtual, on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will work around your schedule. New Orleans lawyers Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law have offices in Gretna and Downtown New Orleans by appointment only.

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 Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may affect your legal rights.

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