Car crashes are terrifying events. An individual’s fight-or-flight mechanism could cause them to become afraid and panic, even if they did not cause the collision. Panicking immediately after a crash often causes a person to flee, even if they know running from the crash is against the law.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious criminal offense in Omaha. The severity of the crime increases if a person died or sustained severe personal injuries in the accident. Detectives assigned to hit-and-run accidents in Omaha, NE, use sophisticated investigatory techniques to track down and charge anyone who fled the scene of an accident.
The police could put immense pressure on you if they suspect you were involved in a hit-and-run in Omaha, NE. Remember that you should not speak to them without your lawyer present. So contact a skilled and aggressive hit-and-run defense lawyer from Omaha who knows how to protect your rights right away.
Nebraska Hit and Run Law
Nebraska law requires any driver involved in an accident to stop if the accident caused property damage, a person died, or someone sustained an injury. Nebraska’s law does not differentiate between public roads, public highways, or private roads; every person must perform the duties imposed by Nebraska law. Those duties include:
- Immediately stopping at the accident scene;
- Identifying yourself by showing a driver license;
- Giving your home address and home phone number;
- Identifying anyone involved in the crash if someone died or sustained an injury; and
- Rendering any reasonable aid such as calling emergency services.
Any person who violates these duties imposed by Nebraska law faces significant criminal penalties along with mandatory license revocation.
In addition to remaining at the crash scene, Nebraska traffic law requires drivers involved in a car crash to file an accident report within 10 days of the incident.
Penalties for a Hit and Run in Omaha
The penalties for committing a hit-and-run in Omaha depend on the severity of the incident and the person’s criminal history.
Hit-and-Run Omaha, NE, Resulting in Property Damage
Leaving the scene of an accident that involved property damage is a Class II misdemeanor. A Class II misdemeanor carries a possible penalty of no more than six months in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000.
The charge becomes a Class I misdemeanor if the driver has a previous conviction for leaving the scene within the previous 12 years. A Class I misdemeanor carries a maximum jail term of one year.
Additionally, the judge can order the defendant not to drive and revoke their license for up to one year.
Hit and Run Omaha, NE, Resulting in Injury or Death
Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury is a Class IIIA felony in Nebraska. If the judge sentences the offender to prison, a Class IIIA felony carries a maximum three-year prison term with post-release supervision ranging from nine to 12 months. The court may also impose a $10,000 fine.
A hit-and-run crash that results in death or serious injury is a Class III felony. The judge could impose the maximum prison sentence of four years with up to two years of post-release supervision. Additionally, the judge must order the offender not to drive and revoke their license for at least one year, up to a maximum of 15 years.
Defenses for a Hit and Run in Omaha, NE
You must contact a knowledgeable and dedicated criminal defense attorney in Omaha if police arrest you or suspect you are involved in a hit-and-run crash. Seeking immediate legal representation will help protect your rights and allow your lawyer to develop a successful defense strategy.
The circumstances of each case dictate the possible defenses. These defenses could include:
- The driver didn’t know the accident occurred;
- The police cannot prove who was driving; or
- The police committed constitutional violations such as unlawful search and seizure or Miranda violations.
The State can also file other charges against you, such as motor vehicle homicide or DUI, for example.
Aggressive Representation for You
Immediately speaking with an aggressive Nebraska criminal lawyer could reduce your exposure to severe criminal penalties. Tom Petersen and his staff with Petersen Criminal Defense Law offer free case evaluations. Call Tom and his team today at 402-509-8070 to discuss your concerns confidentially.