Drivers in Maryland involved in an accident are required to return to and remain at the scene until they exchange information, even if there is only property damage. If someone is injured, Maryland requires the driver to stop and render aid, and, if it appears to be necessary, arrange for the transportation of the person to a hospital so that they can receive medical treatment.
If you do not stop and remain at the scene, or if the officer is dissatisfied with the way you did it, you may be charged with Failure to Stop and Remain at the Scene of an Accident. I have represented many people charged with these offenses and I can usually either get the case dropped or otherwise reach a result that does not involve jail or the loss of your ability to drive. Call me at (301) 556-8709 right away for help with your specific case.
Could I go to jail for failure to stop after an accident in Maryland?
Failure to stop after an accident offenses in Maryland are generally jailable, and also carry fines, the amount of which vary depending on the charge, and the injuries or property damage resulting from the accident.
What penalties are there for failure to stop or remain at the scene after an accident?
It is normal to be charged with multiple offenses after an alleged hit and run incident, the least of which is a misdemeanor that carries up to two months in jail and a $500 fine, and the greatest of which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The maximum penalty changes based on whether there is no injury (2 months, $500, 8 points), an injury but not a serious injury ($1 year, $3000, 12 points), a serious injury (5 years, $5000, 12 points), or death (10 years, $10,000, 12 points). There is also the possibility of license suspension or revocation, which can occur due to point accumulation, or under separate rules applicable to hit and run accidents.
What am I required to do after an accident in Maryland?
Return to and remain at the scene of the accident. If you did not pull over immediately, or did not notice the accident at the time, return to the scene of the accident. Try to get as close as you safely can, as the police may charge you with failure to return to and remain at the scene of an accident because you are further away than they expect, or did not behave exactly as they expected, even if your behavior is lawful.
What am I required to do if someone is injured after an accident?
If anyone is injured or needs assistance, render reasonable aid, and call an ambulance if one is required. Only reasonable aid is required. You are not expected to perform roadside medical procedures yourself, or endanger yourself to aid the other person.
Who do I have to give information to after an accident?
When you give information, you are required to give it to anyone injured in the accident, and to a person attending any other vehicle or property damaged in the accident. It never hurts to give information to more people than required. If there is an officer present, give the officer your information, and allow them to give it to everyone else involved in the accident.
What do I do if no one is present to receive information?
If there is no one present to receive information, and there are no injuries, you can leave the information on the unattended vehicle or damaged property. If there was an injury, but no one is able to receive information, contact the police and give them the information.
What information do I have to give after an accident?
Afterward, if possible, give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other driver, and to any person injured. If they ask to see your license, show it to them if you can. If an officer is there, give the information to the police officer instead, and allow them to distribute the information to the other people involved.
If a police officer is not present, and it is not possible for any of the people above to receive the required information, do as much of the above as you can, and then give the information above to the nearest police department.
Can my Maryland license be suspended if I fail to return to or remain at the scene of an accident?
All Maryland hit and run offenses carry points, and some of them may have a license suspension or revocation associated with them independent of points as well. I can usually resolve these cases in a way that does not appear on your driving record, but every case is different. We can also contest suspensions or revocations at the MVA, which is a separate proceeding from any criminal charges associated with the accident.
What offenses will I be charged with if I fail to remain at the scene of an accident?
You may be charged with multiple offenses at once if you are alleged to be involved in a hit and run incident. For instance, if the accident involved an injury, you may be charged with both failure to return to and remain at the scene of an accident involving on property damage, as well as failure to return to and remain at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury. You can also expect to be charged with nearly identical offenses relating to failure to give information after an accident involving property damage, and failure to give information after an accident involving bodily injury. Do not be intimidated by the sheer number of charges on your citation.
Accidents Resulting Only in Damage to Attended Vehicle or Property (TA 20-103)
If you are involved in an accident in Maryland that only results in damage to the other vehicle the maximum penalty is two months in jail and a $500 fine.
Failure to Remain at Scene of an Accident Resulting in Bodily Injury (TA 20-102)
If you fail to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury, or fail to return to the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury, it can be a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of up to 1 year and a $3000 fine if there is no serious injury. If there was a serious injury you knew or should have known that the accident might result in serious bodily injury, it is a felony carrying a maximum sentence of up to 5 years and a $5000 fine. A serious injury is one that causes permanent or serious protracted impairment or disfigurement, or creates a substantial risk of death.
Failure to Remain at Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death (TA 20-102)
If you fail to stop or remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death, or fail to return to the scene of the accident resulting in death, it is a felony carrying up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $5000, and if you knew or should have known that the accident might result in death and the person actually dies, it is a felony punishable by up to 10 years and a fine of $10,000.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I am Charged with Failure to Return to or Remain at the Scene of an Accident in Maryland?
Yes. These are serious charges that can result in both jail and license suspension or revocation if not dealt with properly. Call me today at (301) 556-8709 so that we can protect your record and your driving privileges.