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Can You Go To Jail For Accidentally Hitting Someone With Your Car?


Accidents happen, and there are times when individuals make mistakes and strike others with their vehicles. If you accidentally strike another person with your vehicle, more likely than not, you will not have to go to jail. However, there are exceptions to this, and the circumstances of each situation will need to be thoroughly examined by law enforcement officials. Here, our Southfield accident attorneys want to explore these types of incidents and the likelihood of an individual going to jail.

A True Accident Means Jail is Unlikely

Accidents are different than intentional actions individuals take. How a person responds to the aftermath of an accident, particularly after a car accident in Michigan, often determines whether or not they will go to jail.

The reality is that accidentally hitting someone with your car is unlikely to land you in jail. That does not mean you will be free from any responsibility for the incident. Individuals will likely receive a citation from law enforcement officials if they accidentally strike somebody, and they may even face misdemeanor charges. However, jail time will be unlikely.

Impaired Driving or Other Reckless Driving Behavior

If an individual strikes somebody with their vehicle and they are found to be impaired by alcohol or drugs, distracted by their phones or other devices, or otherwise determined to have been operating their vehicle recklessly, they may serve jail time. Drivers can face charges, and an “accident” may not be considered an accident in the eyes of the law in these circumstances. 

If a person has broken the law behind the wheel of their vehicle and struck someone, they should expect to face misdemeanor or even felony charges, depending on whether there has been an injury or a fatality due to the reckless driving behavior. 

Hit and Run Incidents

Fleeing the scene of an accident, regardless of whether or not the incident happened by mistake or as a result of recklessness, is a crime. Under Michigan law, individuals could face significant prison time and fines depending on the situation. All drivers are responsible for stopping at the scene of a crash they’ve been in and providing others involved, including police, with their name, address, and vehicle information. Individuals must present their driver’s license and render any aid reasonably possible to those injured and the incident.

If an incident results in damage to a vehicle, a person may be guilty of a misdemeanor if they flee the scene. This is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. In the event an individual causes serious injury and flees the scene, they could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 as a result of a felony conviction. Finally, fleeing the scene of an accident that resulted in a death could result in a felony conviction and a 15-year prison sentence and a $15,000 fine. 

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a hit-and-run accident and you have any questions about compensation and legal liability, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can investigate the incident and help offer a path forward.

The post Can You Go To Jail For Accidentally Hitting Someone With Your Car? appeared first on Haque Legal.

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