In Phoenix, leaving the scene of an accident you are involved in prematurely is a serious offense. If you happen to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurs, the seriousness of the offense is exponentially compounded.
- Whether or not you are at fault, you believe your intoxication had anything to do with the accident, or anyone was injured, you are legally required to stop and perform all of the duties Phoenix law requires you to in the case of an automobile accident.
If you are involved in a hit and run under the influence, you will face multiple charges based on two individual factors:
The consequences for being charged with a hit and run under the influence in Phoenix can be disastrous both personally and professionally. Therefore, if you find yourself charged with a hit and run under the influence in Phoenix, we recommend consulting an experienced DUI attorney who will aggressively fight to make sure your rights are upheld throughout the entire process.
What are Your Legal Obligations for an Automobile Accident?
According to Phoenix Revised Statute A.R.S. 28-663, you are legally obligated to perform the following actions if you are involved in a car accident:
- Provide your name, address, and vehicle registration to the other driver or responding police officer.
- Show the other driver or responding police officer your driver’s license if requested to do so.
- Administer first aid to any motorist involved in the accident, or else call for medical help, if necessary.
Failure to fulfill these obligations can result in a class 3 misdemeanor, which includes penalties of up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail if you are a first time offender and no one else is seriously injured.
- If you have prior convictions, or if you cause (or contribute to) another person’s serious injury or death, you can be charged with up to a class 2 felony that can result in fines of up to $150,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
You can learn more about the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident by visiting our Hit and Run page. But as you can see, choosing to flee the scene of an accident even under normal conditions can be an incredibly costly decision that irreparably damages you life, as well as the life of someone the law required you to assist.
What are the DUI Laws in Phoenix?
If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you cause, or are involved in, a hit and run accident, you will face multiple charges relating to that one event. Phoenix is tougher on driving under the influence than most other states in the nation (DUI sentencing guidelines). Phoenix Revised Statute 28-1381 states that:
A person can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is between .08% and .0149%, or if their BAC is between .05% and .08% but they are exhibiting signs of being under the influence. Also, if you register more than .00% and less than .05% and exhibit signs of being under the influence, you can still face DUI charges.
For a first time offender (1st offender DUI), a standard DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor that carries hefty fines, a jail sentence of up to 6 months behind bars, as well as additional penalties including probation, alcohol treatment or counseling, suspension of your license, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and random drug testing.
The penalties for extreme and super extreme DUIs are even harsher, and if you have multiple DUI offenses, each offense will compound your financial penalties and sentencing punishment as well.
How Does a Hit and Run Under the Influence Compound a Sentence?
Due to the compounded nature of a serious crime like this, being charged with a hit and run under the influence takes both charges into account, and penalizes you for both if you are convicted. Let’s take a worst-case scenario into account here, and say that you are intoxicated at standard DUI levels (so .08% to .149%), and cause an accident that you flee that ends up severely injuring another person:
You can face a class 2 felony for the accident, and a class 1 misdemeanor for the DUI, which compounded in this case, can result in up to 20+ years in prison if you are charged with a dangerous felony. You can also face fines and other financial penalties of over $150,000, not to mention any civil lawsuits or liabilities you may incur as a result of your actions. In addition, you will face penalties including the revocation of your license, probation, and any other stipulations the court decides are appropriate upon your release.
Trust Phoenix DUI Attorney With Your Hit and Run DUI Defense in Phoenix
The best way to ensure you are not charged with a crime as damaging as a hit and run under the influence is to stop and do your due diligence whether you have been drinking or not. Although you face potential charges in that situation, you will not compound those charges by fleeing the scene of an accident. However, if for whatever reason you are arrested for doing so, it is essential to consult a defense attorney with proven experience defending hit and run under the influence charges of all severities. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you are facing hit and run under the influence charges in Phoenix of any severity, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 480-900-5177.