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Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a Felony – Traffic, C.R.S. 42-4-1601

| Sep 20, 2012 | Traffic |

Traffic accidents sound like DMV license issues.  But, did you know that if someone is seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident and you leave the scene, you will be facing felony charges and up to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections prison system?

Under Colorado statutes found at C.R.S. 42-4-1601 (in the traffic section), lies a relatively unknown but serious law governing traffic accidents.  Under this statute titled Leaving the Scene of an Accident, it is a class five felony to leave the scene of an accident where someone is seriously injured and a class three felony where someone is killed.  If a court or jury should find you guilty of either, you could be in for a long prison sentence.

This is overkill.  What person in a crisis deciding whether to leave the scene of an accident or not takes into consideration that they are facing a class three felony or a misdemeanor?  Do we, as a society, want to send these people to prison for up to twelve years?  Wouldn’t society’s deterence and punishment goals be satisfied with up to a year in jail?  How about three years in prison?  Whether you were drunk or whether you were just a bad driver, sending a person to prison for twelve years for driving away from an accident is excessive.  Why should we treat them the same as a drug dealer or burglar for a split second decision to drive away from a traffic accident to avoid responsibility?

We care about our clients and treat them like friends.  If you have been in an accident where you left the scene, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our office, at 303-731-0719.  Together, we can protect your future.