Legal Question in Traffic Law in Pennsylvania

Is a hit and run still illegal even if you aren't hurt?

Asked on 9/09/13, 9:04 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

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I don't know whether you are the victim or the perpetrator. If you are the perpetrator, say nothing more on this or any other public website.

Its a crime to cause damage (either property damage or bodily injury) and leave the scene of an accident. It does not matter if the victim was just stunned rather than more seriously injured.

75 Pa.C.S.A. 3742 Accidents involving death or personal injury

(a) General rule.--The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of section 3744 (relating to duty to give information and render aid). Every stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

(b) Penalties.--

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person violating this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2) If the victim suffers serious bodily injury, any person violating subsection (a) commits a felony of the third degree, and the sentencing court shall order the person to serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

(3)(i) If the victim dies, any person violating subsection (a) commits a felony of the second degree, and the sentencing court shall order the person to serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $2,500, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

(ii) In addition to the minimum term of imprisonment provided for in subparagraph (i), the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing shall provide within its guidelines a sentencing enhancement if the victim dies as the result of a violation of subsection (a). The provisions of this subparagraph shall not be an element of the crime, and notice of the provisions of this subparagraph shall not be required prior to conviction, but reasonable notice of the Commonwealth's intention to proceed under this subparagraph shall be provided after conviction and before sentencing.

(c) Authority of sentencing court.--There shall be no authority in any court to impose on an offender to which this section is applicable any lesser sentence than provided for in subsection (b)(2) or (3) or to place such offender on probation or to suspend sentence. Sentencing guidelines promulgated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing shall not supersede the mandatory sentences provided in this section.

75 Pa.C.S.A. 3744. Duty to give information and render aid

(a) General rule.--The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving, and shall upon request exhibit his driver's license and information relating to financial responsibility to any person injured in the accident or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the accident and shall give the information and upon request exhibit the license and information relating to financial responsibility to any police officer at the scene of the accident or who is investigating the accident and shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the making of arrangements for the carrying of the injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if requested by the injured person.

(b) Report of accident to police.--In the event that none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under subsection (a) and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in the accident after fulfilling all other requirements of section 3742 (relating to accidents involving death or personal injury) and subsection (a), in so far as possible on his part to be performed, shall forthwith report the accident to the nearest office of a duly authorized police department and submit to the police department the information specified in subsection (a).

(c) Duty of occupants if driver disabled.--Whenever the driver of a vehicle is physically unable to give the information or assistance required in this section and there are other occupants in the vehicle at the time of the accident who are physically able to give the information or assistance required in this section, each of the other occupants shall fully reveal the identity of himself and the identity of the driver of the vehicle and of the owner of the vehicle of which they are occupants and shall otherwise perform the duties of the driver as set forth in subsection (a).

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9/11/13, 11:05 am

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