Hit-and-run laws in Missouri

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2019 | Firm News

Getting into a car accident is one of the last things anyone wants to happen. Whether it is a fender bender or major crash, some motorists may feel tempted to leave the area to avoid trouble. However, leaving the scene of a car crash is against the law.

Missouri statute 577.060 states that fleeing an accident, commonly known as committing a “hit-and-run,” is a criminal offense. Here are the important facts everyone should know about the hit-and-run laws in Missouri.

What the law requires

Anyone driving a vehicle involved in a collision has the responsibility to stop in a safe location. Then, all motorists have the obligation to give the following information to either the other party or a law enforcement official:

  • Name
  • Residential address
  • License plate and registration number of the vehicle
  • Driver’s license information

Failure to take these actions constitutes a crime.

Criminal penalties for hit-and-run offenses

Abandoning the scene of a wreck is a Class A Misdemeanor, at the very least. The maximum punishments for this offense include one year of imprisonment and fines of $1,000. However, the offense is a Class D Felony if any of the following occurs:

  • The crash results in over $1,000 in property damage 
  • The crash results in an injury to another party
  • The fleeing motorist has a previous conviction or guilty plea of a similar crime, such as a DUI

The potential repercussions for a Class D Felony include 4 years of jail time and fines of $5,000. 

Other consequences

Motorists who commit a hit-and-run may face additional penalties, including points on a driver’s license. This may result in a suspension or revocation of driving privileges. Further, insurance rates may dramatically increase. Additionally, if the other party suffers property damage or injury, there may be a civil lawsuit involved. 

Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision is not an insignificant manner, even in the event of minor collisions.