Omaha Hit-and-Run Defense Attorneys
Any driver involved in a traffic crash in Nebraska that causes property damage or bodily injury is required to stop at the scene of the accident, furnish certain information (name, driver’s license, home address, telephone number), and render reasonable assistance to anyone involved. Failure to do so is a criminal offense known as leaving the scene of an accident or more commonly as hit-and-run. Nebraska imposes serious penalties upon conviction of leaving the scene of an accident.
Criminal Defense/DUI Services
Severity of charges for hit-and-run will depend on the consequences of the crash and whether or not it is a first offense.
- Hit-and-run resulting in property damage: If no one was injured but the collision caused property damage, leaving the scene of an accident is charged as a Class II misdemeanor.
- Hit-and-run resulting in property damage with a prior hit-and-run conviction: If the accused has a prior conviction of leaving the scene of an accident within the previous 12 years, the charge becomes a Class I misdemeanor.
- Hit-and-run resulting in bodily injury: If someone involved in the wreck sustained an injury, leaving the scene becomes a Class IIIA felony.
- Hit-and-run resulting in serious injury or death: If someone is seriously injured or killed in the crash of which a driver left the scene, hit-and-run is charged as a Class III felony.
Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are more severe if someone is hurt or killed in the crash.
- When hit-and-run causes property damages only, you may be facing up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- If the crash caused property damage only, but you have been previously convicted of leaving the scene within the past 12 years, the maximum jail term increases to one year.
- If someone was injured in the collision, you are facing possible penalties of a maximum three-year prison term, nine to 18 months of post-release supervision, and a fine of up to $10,000.
- If the hit-and-run wreck caused serious injuries or death, penalties may include up to four years in prison, up to two years of post-release supervision, and driver’s license revocation for at least one year and up to 15 years.
Legal defenses against charges of leaving the scene of an accident will depend on the circumstances in your particular case. Some common hit-and-run defenses include the following:
- Lack of knowledge: You were not aware that the accident occurred, or that property was damaged or that someone was hurt.
- Responding to an emergency: You left the scene of the accident to deal with an emergency, such as driving to a hospital for emergency medical treatment.
- Not driving: The police cannot prove that you were driving the vehicle.
- Police violations: Law enforcement officers committed constitutional violations, such as failing to read your Miranda rights or illegal search and seizure.
Upon conviction, hit-and-run carries heavy penalties in Nebraska, including jail time or a prison term, fines, post-release supervision, and loss of driver’s license privileges. Your best chance of obtaining the best possible outcome is to have an experienced Omaha hit-and-run defense lawyer on your side.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we understand that one mistake, or even a misunderstanding, could put you on the wrong side of the criminal justice system. We believe you deserve strong representation to protect your freedom and your future. If you are facing hit-and-run charges, call a criminal defense attorney today at (402) 505-8234.
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