A child runs out into the street after a soccer ball. A car hits the child, pauses for a moment, then rushes off, leaving the injured child in the street. As we watch the story on the news, we are baffled at how anyone could commit such a heinous act.
Usually, the driver did not plan to hurt anyone. But psychology experts have argued that hit and run drivers often lack empathy and tend to be “people who blame others for their behaviors.” Instead of taking responsibility for their negligence, these drivers blame the victim.
What goes through the minds of these people after serious crashes? Why do they flee? According to analysis, during the moment after the crash, many do consider the legal fallout—especially if they committed an obviously flagrant offense, like hitting someone while DUI or texting—but they react impulsively/emotionally. Let’s say the driver is already in trouble with the law, for example, because of an outstanding warrant or ticket. He may be afraid of being stopped by the police because of this history. So he flees, heedless of the additional trouble he’s causing by leaving the scene.
Leaving the scene may be just one in a series of bad decisions. Drugs or alcohol, for instance, can corrupt judgment. And hit and run drivers do frequently experience regret after the fact, once they’ve cooled off. After the initial panic, in fact, many drivers turn themselves in to the police.
In Arizona, if a driver leaves the scene of an accident in which there was only property damage and no physical injuries, he can be convicted of a class 2 misdemeanor. The court can order the suspension of his driver’s license for one year. If the court has reasonable suspicion that drugs or alcohol were involved, the court can require the driver to complete alcohol or drug screening before license reinstatement.
Arizona will throw the book at you if you leave the scene of an accident in which there was physical injury or a fatality. You can be convicted of a felony, incarcerated, and then lose your license for up to 10 years after completing your incarceration.
If you suffered injuries in an Arizona hit and run accident, and you want justice and fair compensation, call the Kelly Law Team at 602-283-4122 for a free case evaluation.