Many people in North Carolina assume that traffic stops are for motorists who speed, run red lights and disregard other traffic laws. Those infractions often only result in tickets, points on driving records and fines. There are some traffic crimes that are much more serious and can result in criminal misdemeanor or felony charges.
Under normal conditions, you can avoid injuring someone by paying attention and driving defensively. However, there may be circumstances in which you accidentally end up in a collision that causes minimal property damage. The moment you leave the scene of the accident, you have committed a crime and could end up facing a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge.
Because some injuries do not show up during the first few hours after car accidents, some victims may appear and feel fine. If they later develop injuries that stem from you hitting their vehicle, your misdemeanor charge may turn into a felony charge.
Your obligation as a motorist
By law, you must immediately notify law enforcement of the accident. You may feel scared, shocked and apprehensive about the situation. But if you do not notify the authorities about your involvement in the accident, you could end up with a misdemeanor conviction and spend some time behind bars. A felony conviction carries a prison sentence of several years. There are also fines, fees, community service and additional consequences to consider.
Do not take matters into your own hands
Criminal charges of any nature can be challenging to deal with on your own. In addition to trying to deal with their effects on your personal and professional life, you must also find the time to research your defense options and take the necessary steps to avoid further complications. You must act in a time-efficient manner to prevent delays and keep the prosecution from building a stronger case against you.
It is possible for you to beat a hit-and-run charge, but you need a strong defense strategy. You might want to consider speaking to an attorney, so he or she can examine the facts and subpoena the necessary evidence to build your defense.