Hit and run: Criminal VS Penal accusations
If you were involved in a car accident and you were being the wheel, you have the obligation to
- (1) stop your vehicle,
- (2) provide necessary help or to contact the police as soon as possible and
- (3) give your name and address.
Not respecting one of these three obligations is considered a hit and run.
It is important to differentiate a hit and run related to penal accusations (which concerns accidents with inanimate objects) and those related to criminal accusations (which concerns accidents with other drivers).
If you are accused and declared guilty of a penal hit and run, you could have a fine going up to $600 plus costs, as well as 9 demerit points.
However, if you are facing criminal hit and run accusation, consequences are much more important, which we will evaluate in this article.
Criminal Code Accusations
It is the public minister’s role to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one of the three obligations were not respected namely,
- to omit to stop your vehicle,
- to omit to provide the necessary help or contact the police, or
- to omit to give your name and address.
Once they have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver of a motor vehicle omitted to do so, it will be presumed that it was a hit and run. It will then be up to your lawyer to repel the presumption by lifting a doubt regarding the intention of the person driving the vehicule.
The consequences for a Hit and Run : Criminal Code and the SAAQ
Being convicted of a hit and run has many consequences, such as financial and administrative. In fact, a person convicted of a hit and run risks getting a criminal record, a prison sentence and a complete loss of the right to drive a motor vehicle for a period of 4 years at the SAAQ.
Furthermore, If his offense is linked to bodily injuries or death of another person, minimal sentences apply.
Need a lawyer for a hit and run accusation?
It is strongly recommended that you use the services of a lawyer that has a lot of experience regarding driving infractions to avoid unpleasant consequences. Contact us to get a free consultation with one of our specialized lawyers in driving related infractions.