Leaving the scene of an accident, also called a "hit and run," is a punishable offense in the state of Colorado. It can also present complications for victims of these car accidents, as they have no one to file a claim against until the perpetrator is found. An interesting statistic released just this August said that less than half of all people convicted of hit and runs in Colorado are actually sentenced to prison time and roughly 61 percent of all hit and run charges are dismissed.
Colorado's hit and run laws can be found in § 42-4-1601 through § 42-4-1607. According to these statutes, any driver involved in an accident resulting in property damage, injury to or the death of another individual must stop immediately and remain at the scene of the accident until they give their name, address, vehicle registration number and show their driver's license. The law also requires those involved in accidents to render aid where aid is needed.
- Hit and run involving injury to another person – class 1 misdemeanor
- Hit and run resulting in serious injury to another person – class 4 felony
- Hit and run resulting in the death of another – class 3 felony
Hit and run offenses also warrant driver's license revocation. Recently, the Colorado legislature passed laws that made the penalties more severe for hit and run offenders. Convicted of a DUI involving serious bodily injury or death? You could be looking at up to six years in prison. Still, a majority of those arrested and charged with hit and run are able to arrange a plea bargain that doesn't involve prison.
Those convicted of hit and run, even if they do not face prison time, will have to pay victim restitution. In addition to this, hit and run victims are usually entitled to insurance money to cover their medical, emotional and financial losses. Whether you've been arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Colorado or you're the victim of a hit and run accident, our firm can help. Contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP today for a free case evaluation.