You stayed too late at the party and drank too much. On the way home, you heard a thud. You’re not sure what you hit, but you panicked and fled. Somehow the cops figured out where you lived, and you’re now charged with DUI and Leaving the Scene.
What can happen to you? What can you do?
If you are involved in an accident, Illinois requires that you stay at the scene, file a police report and/or call for assistance. In accidents involving injury or death, a failure to stop can lead to a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison. If you also fail to file a police report, you may be charged with a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years. If the other party died, you are now subject to a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4 to 15 years. When the accident only involves property damage, you may still be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail plus a fine.
Add alcohol to the mix and what might have been a simple first time DUI could become an Aggravated offense , a Class 4 Felony on top of your Leaving the Scene penalties. See our related post at: Aggravated DUI in Illinois: Definition, Punishment and Defense.
If you are charged with Leaving the Scene and/or DUI, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your situation for your best possible defense. As with most criminal charges, the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the State show you were the one driving? Or that you were under the influence at the time of the accident? Did you wait to drink until after you arrived home?
Although running away might help you with this type of defense, it is NEVER a good idea to leave the scene. Judges particularly dislike these types of cases, and many will look harshly on any Defendant who flees.
If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)