If you leave the scene of a single car accident because of altercations at the scene, can you still be charged?

Driver had hit his head on the windshield and passenger broke his arm, the brother of the driver arrived at the scene with the father. The driver’s brother begin yelling and pushing the driver, driver hit his brother and ran from the scene. No charges was pressed from the brother but because the driver left was charged with Hit and Run. Because of the circumstances can charges be dropped to a misdemeanor?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

More than likely if the other party left the scene of the accident before the police arrived, they can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident because the police will not know of the persons whereabouts at the scene. If charged, then these altercations at the scene can be used as a defense to show that the person did not intentionally leave the scene, but was ultimately forced to leave the scene. A charge for leaving the scene of an accident usually occurs where a person makes no attempt or little effort to stay at the scene.

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