If I was in a car accident and my case has been classified as a “hit and run” because I failed to notify the police right away but came back to the scene 10 minutes late, will I go to jail?

So my case is a “failure to notify accident” case. This is my first every conviction and accident. I initially left because I was injured.

Asked on September 14, 2015 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No attorney can ethically tell you exactly what will or won't happen.  However, considering that no one else was hurt and you don't have a criminal history, you have a very good chance for a lighter sentence, like probation, if you are convicted of this offense.
You also have a decent chance, based on what you've described, at obtaining a dismissal.  Every offense has what is called an "intent" requirement.  You have an "absence of intent" defense.  Basically, the argument is that you did not intend to "hit and run".  Your intent was to seek medical treatment and you did return.  You also have a defense of "necessity."  You are not required to suffer with an injury on the side of the road--- you can obtain medical attention as long as you're are not actively avoiding law enforcement. 
It sounds like you have already had a first court date.  They have told you to come back because your case is still pending and under review.  You need to try to hire an attorney before your next court date to appear with you and assert your defenses.  If you cannot afford an attorney, you need to call the court coordinator or court clerk to learn the procedures for applying for a court appointed attorney in the jurisdiction where your case is pending.


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