Leaving the Scene and DUI in Missouri

Kimberly2 1Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

Leaving the Scene to Avoid DUI

 Being involved in a car accident isn’t necessarily a crime. However, under Missouri law (Revised Statute 577.060 ), it is illegal for a driver to leave the area of the crash if the accident resulted in death, physical injury to another person, or property damage greater than $500.If you flee the scene in order to avoid getting caught driving under the influence (DUI), you may be charged with “leaving the scene” and a DUI. Leaving the scene is also sometimes referred to as “hit-and-run.”If you face a hit-and-run charge in Missouri, it is important to understand the charges and penalties associated with these offenses. Navigating any arrest process for DUI can be challenging, so hire a skilled DWI attorney. 

DUI With Car Accident

 In Missouri, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and the number of prior offenses, you may be charged with an aggravated or regular DUI offense.DUIs and DWIs are serious offenses with harsh potential penalties, but the penalties can be even stiffer if the drunk driver has caused a car accident and left the scene.Drivers must not leave the accident scene without stopping and providing their name, address, and vehicle registration number to any person injured in the accident or any police officer at the scene. If they do, the charges they will face greatly depend on the seriousness of the accident.Hit-and-run DWI cases in Missouri carry severe consequences and a potential criminal record, which can have long-lasting implications on your life. Additionally, a driver’s license suspension for up to two years may follow a conviction for this type of offense.If you are asking, “how long will a DUI conviction stay on your record?” The answer is: it depends. DUI & DWI expungement is possible, but only if that is your first offense conviction and at least ten years have passed after the incident. 

Leaving the Scene Charges

 Leaving the scene can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge. If the defendant has a prior conviction of leaving the scene after a car accident in Missouri or any other state, the offense will be prosecuted as a felony.In addition to criminal charges, those convicted of leaving the scene may also face civil liability for any damages caused by their actions. 

Leaving the Scene Penalties

 In Missouri, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the driver can spend up to a year in jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000.However, if someone was injured in the accident, leaving the scene becomes a Class E felony. If convicted, a driver can spend up to 4 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $10,000.Leaving the scene cases in which someone has suffered a severe injury is a Class D felony, punishable with up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In the worst-case scenario, if the accident resulted in a fatality, the offense becomes a Class C felony which can result in spending between three to 10 years in prison. 

Contact a DUI Attorney Today

 Taking immediate action by contacting a DUI attorney can greatly increase your chances of a favorable outcome in your case. Additionally, if you are juvenile facing charges for hit-and-run DUI, it’s essential to hire an experienced attorney with cases involving juvenile drivers and DUI/DWI.For more questions on leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated, contact our DWI lawyer at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.

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