When people are involved in traffic crashes, their first responses are usually pretty standard – surprise, shock, horror, fear, and frustration. However, once they’ve cycled through this high-seed litany of reactions, they tend to move on to how they intend to deal with the crash. Some are concerned about their vehicles and how the crash will affect their insurance. Others are concerned for the well being of the people involved. But there are a number of people for whom the primary concern is getting as far away as possible, as quickly as possible.
Sometimes this is simply to escape a frightening situation that is causing stress. In other cases it is because the driver (or victim) is afraid of interacting with the police because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or because they have something illegal in their car they don’t want found. However, while running away may seem like a perfectly natural or reasonable response, it’s actually against the law in Michigan.
In Michigan, when someone gets into a collision with another person, or with a stationary object, they are required to follow certain protocols. Regardless of whether they think they were at fault for the crash, the driver must stay at the scene long enough to provide a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which they collided certain pieces of information. Unless the collision happened on private property, the police must be notified.
After a collision, the people involved are required to share the following information:
- Their names and addresses
- The registration numbers of their vehicles
- The name and address of the owner of the vehicle
- They are also required to provide the other driver (if there is one) a chance to view their driver’s license.
Anyone involved in a collision is also required to stay and provide reasonable help any person injured in the accident, or to get medical help for them, or arrange for or provide their transportation. The only instance where a driver may leave the scene of an accident without risking criminal prosecution, is when staying in place endangers their life. However, in this case they are still required to notify the police immediately, and explain why they felt that they had to leave the area.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense under Michigan law, and is aggressively prosecuted in instances where the collision caused the injury or death of another person. Join us next time when we will be looking at the different possible charges that a person could face if they chose to leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive.
Until then, if you or one of your loved ones has been accused of drunk driving, or drugged driving, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our dedicated team of skilled drunk driving defense attorneys handles all manner of drunk driving charges, including DUI, OWI, OWVI, and other serious crimes. Our attorneys and staff have extensive experience in the defense of operating while intoxicated and related prosecutions, and we can help you during this difficult time.