Hit and Run
There are several Hit and Run laws in Virginia, each to cover the severity of the hit and the run.
Virginia Hit and Run Law
Virginia’s Hit and Run laws are located at Code of Virginia §§ 46.2-894, 46.2-895, 46.2-896 and 46.2-897.
Many Virginia motorists do not understand the duties imposed by state law when your vehicle is involved with an accident with another vehicle that is occupied or unoccupied.
If the vehicle is occupied State law requires you to immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic and report your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property. You are also required to render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including taking the injured person to a hospital if it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary or it is requested by the injured person.
If you fail to do as required by law it is a Class 5 felony if (1) the accident results in injury to or the death of any person, or (2) if the accident results in more than $1000 of damage to property. It is very easy to cause at least $1000 in damage based on the repair costs of modern automobiles. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the accident results in damage of $1000 or less.
How to Leave a Note If You Are Involved in a Virginia Car Crash
If you are involved in a single-car collision with an unoccupied motor vehicle or other unattended property state law requires you to make a reasonable effort to find the owner or custodian of such property and shall report your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number if you can locate him or her. However, if the owner or custodian cannot be found, the driver shall leave a note or other sufficient information including driver identification and contact information in a conspicuous place at the scene of the accident and shall report the accident in writing within 24 hours to the State Police or the local law-enforcement agency.
The note must contain your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration. The written report State Police or the local law-enforcement agency must, in addition, state the date, time, and place of the accident and the driver’s description of the property damage.
Consequences of Hit and Run Conviction
If the accident results only in damage to property, the convicted person shall be guilty of a Class 1misdemeanor. However, if the vehicle or other property struck is unattended and such damage is less than $250, it is a Class 4 misdemeanor; three demerit points are also assigned on your driving record if the damage is less than $250.
State law, Code of Virginia §46.2-895 and § 46.2-897 also place a duty on passengers whom are 16 years and older to ensure a report is made by the driver within 24-hours. Failure to do so can result with the passenger being convicted of a Class 6 felony, a Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 4 misdemeanor based on the situation.
The Department of Motor Vehicle is required to revoke the driver’s license of person convicted of felony hit and run for 1 year. If such accident resulted only in damage that was at least $500, the court can suspend the person’s license up to 6 months after conviction.