It is never a good idea to flee or leave the scene of an accident, but situations arise that cause good people to make poor choices. And sometimes, drivers are completely unaware that they were involved in an accident. Under Colorado law, all drivers involved in an accident where any property damage (including to your own vehicle) or where any bodily injury is sustained, regardless of fault, are obligated to immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible or shall immediately return to the scene. Failure to do so will likely result in serious criminal and/or serious traffic charges. In Colorado it is a felony to leave the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury or death has occurred.
Hit an Run charges are aggressively pursued in the state of Colorado and you can expect an officer or a detective to be calling you, knocking on your door or sending you a letter requiring you to meet with them at the police station if you were involved in a hit and run accident where you left the scene. The city and county of Denver has a whole department and team of detectives assigned to investigate traffic accidents and to pursue charges against drivers involved in hit and run accidents or who left the scene of an accident.
What is Hit and Run?
Generally speaking, a hit and run is defined as being involved in an accident while driving a vehicle (either with a pedestrian, another car, or a fixed object) and then leaving the scene without stopping to identify yourself, report the accident, exchange insurance information, or render aid to anyone who might need assistance. Colorado hit and run laws cover parking lot collisions as well. For example, if you back into an unoccupied car in a parking lot and fail to make an attempt to locate the owner or operator or leave a note with your name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle you were driving on the windshield or in a conspicuous place, the laws considers this a hit and run accident.
- C.R.S. 42-4-1601. Accidents involving death or personal injuries – duties
- C.R.S. 42-4-1602. Accident involving damage – duty
- C.R.S. 42-4-1603. Duty to give notice, information, and aid
- C.R.S. 42-4-1604. Duty upon striking unattended vehicle or other property
- C.R.S. 42-4-1605. Duty upon striking highway fixtures or traffic control devices
- C.R.S. 42-4-1606. Duty to report accidents
What are the Penalties for Hit and Run in Colorado?
In Colorado, hit and run is a crime that requires you to remain at the scene, exchange insurance information and to report the accident. Failure to meet any or all of these requirements will result in the driver being charged with one or more lass 2 Traffic Misdemeanors. If there were injuries or a fatality involved, the driver could be facing felony charges that carry mandatory prison sentences if convicted.
Leaving the scene of an accident where no one is injured is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail and a year suspension of your driving privileges.
Failing to report an accident where no one is injured is also a class 2 traffic misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail and a year suspension of your driving privileges.
Leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident are the two most common charges associated with a hit and run accident in Colorado. You are likely to also be charged with either careless or reckless driving if you are determine to be the at fault driver that caused the accident.
Call Denver’s Best Traffic Lawyers Before you Speak to the Police
Given the seriousness of the charges you are facing and real potential for jail time and loss of your driving privileges you need to immediately seek the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Denver hit and run lawyer as soon as possible after being involved in the accident and before speaking with the police. Any admissions to driving the vehicle or knowledge that the accident occurred will be used against you. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident where you left the scene, call us immediately for a consultation at 303-384-5280 and to discuss the benefits of having representation before the police even contact and before any charges are filed.
If you have been charged with hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident, call us immediately at 303-384-5280 to discuss how we can help save your driving privileges and keep you out of jail. We understand the importance of your rights and freedoms and will do everything we can to protect those and to get you the best possible outcome based on the facts and evidence in the case. To see how we have helped countless others in a similar situation, check out our client review page and our recent case results page.