Authorities recently announced the arrest of a man whom they suspect was involved in a hit-and-run accident from earlier this year.
The accident killed one Maricopa County highway worker and left another hospitalized. Police say that the workers were clearing traffic signs in the overnight hours when a pickup truck hit both of them. The driver of the pickup did not remain at the scene of the accident.
Police continued to investigate the March accident and say that they were able to obtain a video of the incident.
They are accusing the man of several crimes, including leaving the scene of an accident and failing to render aid. They have also accused him or providing false information to the authorities.
Leaving the scene charges can land a person in prison
A person accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident could face a term of over a decade in prison if convicted. Furthermore, he or she will likely forfeit driving privileges for 5 or even 10 years, with this time beginning after a person gets released from prison. Fines, probation, and orders to pay restitution are also possible.
Although the penalties are not as serious, leaving the scene of any injury accident, even if the injuries are minor, is chargeable as a felony and can lead to incarceration and a license revocation for three years.
As with any criminal case, including criminal traffic offenses, police and prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they have identified the driver who allegedly left the scene. They also have to follow the law when conducting their investigation.
Defenses may be available to those accused of these serious traffic violations.