Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in the State of MS although many drivers still do it. Sometimes, drivers attempt to flee as they worry they are going to be charged with a serious crime. In other cases, a motorist might attempt to leave an accident scene if they were engaging in illegal behavior (i.e. driving while intoxicated).
If you were involved in a collision with a drunk driver in Jackson, MS who tried to flee the scene of the accident but was later caught and are wondering how the State of MS is going to charge him/her, read on below to find out.
How does the state of MS punish drivers who fail to stop at the scene of a drunk driving accident they are involved in?
When a driver engages in a crash, they are required to stop regardless of whether they are intoxicated or not. According to Miss. Code §63-3-403, “The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 63-3-405.”
If a driver fails to stop or comply with the following requirements stipulated above, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition to being charged with a misdemeanor, they will likely be charged with DUI after being caught by law enforcement officers along with any other crimes officers determine were committed at the time of the crash.
Now, Miss. Code § 63-3-401 says that if a driver causes an accident that has resulted in injury to another or death, that “person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 63-3-405.” If any person “willfully fails to stop or to comply with these requirements “theyshall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than one year, or by fine of not less than $100.00 [but not] more than $5,000.00, or by both”if they are convicted.
If the accident has resulted in “the death of another or the mutilation, disfigurement, permanent disability or the destruction of the tongue, eye, lip, nose or any other limb, organ or member of another willfully fails to stop” at the scene of an accident, then they shall be “punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years, or by fine of not less than $1,000.00 [but not] more than $10,000.00, or by both. The motoristwill also have their driver’s license revoked. Keep in mind that the driver’s penalties, given they are convicted, will likely be enhanced if he/she is charged with DUI along with any other charges that fit the crime that was committed.
Do I need to hire a Jackson, MS drunk driving accident lawyer if I suffered injuries in an alcohol-related accident?
It would be a good idea to consult with an attorney as they can explain your rights and review with you the steps you can take to ensure the driver is punished for their careless behavior. The Law Offices of Malouf & Malouf, PLLC has dedicated itself to helping MS residents just like you since1970and is here to provide you with the legal advice and guidance you might be needing.
The Law Offices of Malouf & Malouf, PLLC can be reached at:
501 E Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201