I committed a hit and run, how long will it take for the police to find me? If you committed a hit and run accident, that brings numerous concerns. You might be anxious about the authorities tracking you down, particularly if they managed to capture your identifying details. Or, if the damage is severe, the impending repair costs and the question of who will bear them come to mind.
Your primary focus is likely to be on the investigation—how long it might take the police to find you and how frequently they will be in touch with the victim. This article will outline what you can expect and better prepare you for the process.
I Committed a Hit and Run how Long Will It Take for the Police to Find Me?
The police typically respond quickly following an incident like a hit and run, and they will use various pieces of evidence from witnesses and the scene to identify the offender. Most officers try to minimize the time it takes to find the people involved, meaning it could be a matter of hours or days before the police find you.
In some cases, it might take weeks or months for the police to find you if they have a lead. However, if they manage to secure important details like your license plate number from the scene, they will find you more quickly. If the police officers have limited information, their search may take longer. A license plate is typically instrumental in tracking down anyone responsible for a hit and run and preparing for legal proceedings.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
How you respond immediately following a hit and run incident can determine the subsequent process. Below are the right things to do after a hit and run.
- Memorize as many details about the scene and the vehicle as you can, including the affected vehicle’s make, model, color, license plate, and the driver’s appearance, if possible.
- Dial 911 to ensure the police and other emergency services are promptly dispatched to that location.
- Get in touch with the police, providing them with all relevant information.
- Contact your insurance company to ascertain the extent of your coverage.
- Consider hiring an attorney experienced in handling hit and run cases to find grounds for your defense.
You might feel that involving a lawyer adds to the complexity of an already stressful situation, but in reality, it can significantly reduce your burden. A car accident attorney will even provide valuable guidance through each stage of the investigation if you eventually get caught.
What Happens After a Hit and Run Accident
|Surveillance Footage||Evaluating video records from neighboring traffic cameras or other proximate security systems|
|License Plate Check||Cross-referencing the driver’s license plate number with state records|
|Vehicle Identification||Identifying the vehicle using its color, make, and model|
|Driver Description||Locating the driver based on their physical characteristics|
|Eyewitness Information||Collecting information from any available eyewitnesses|
|Damage Assessment||Assessing the damage to your vehicle and seeking corresponding damage on another vehicle|
Hit and run incidents not only result in injuries and damages, but they also complicate matters further because the offending driver escapes the scene. This could mean insufficient evidence to identify who is at fault and potential difficulties in recovering the compensation you’re rightfully owed.
The timeline for the process of hit and run investigation is uncertain—it might take hours if there’s enough evidence. It could also stretch over days, weeks, or even months if the information about the fleeing party is limited.
Once the affected driver reports the incident to the police, they are likely to maintain communication, updating them about the progress of their investigation. There is no fixed duration for how long the police will be in touch following a hit and run, but they will continue their communication until the end.
Hit and Run Laws
If you committed a hit and run accident, which is criminal, you want to know the relevant state laws as it shapes the police investigation and guides your lawyers’ strategy in determining what happened and who is responsible.
Here’s a snapshot of the obligations and potential penalties for a person who hits another vehicle or object, inflicts property damage or personal injury, and subsequently flees the scene:
- If a driver causes damage amounting to at least $1,000 (or depending on your state) and then escapes the scene, their driving privileges could be revoked. In California, for example, you will be considered a negligent driver.
- You have a legal obligation to report an accident to the police. If you do not comply, you could face a fine, up to $2,500, or even a one-year jail term, depending on your state.
- If a driver causes a hit and run and leaves without returning, typically within 30 minutes, they could be fined up to $25,000 or face a jail term of up to 3 years. The severity of the damage caused may also result in their license being suspended or revoked.
- If a hit and run results in a fatality (which is considered a felony), failure to provide aid to a seriously injured individual could lead to a prison sentence of up to 3 years or more depending on your state. Fleeing the scene when a death has occurred could result in imprisonment for up to 5 years or more.
Note that this given data is the case in Texas. Other states have their own varying laws which you should look up for certainty.
With this information, it is clear why hit and run cases are often taken so seriously, and why the police will remain in constant communication with the victim throughout their investigation.
How Long Does a Hit and Run Stay on Your Record?
How long a hit and run stays on your record depends on the gravity of the incident and the state in which it took place.
|Type of accident||Duration on record|
|First minor accident||Many car insurance companies provide accident forgiveness for first-time incidents, which means it may not appear on your record at all.|
|Minor accident||3 years|
|Hit and run||10 years|
|DUI / DWI||10 years|
Some states use a points system to track traffic violations, with drivers who have committed more serious offenses accruing more points. This system, however, varies from state to state. Therefore, a hit and run in one state may stay on your record longer than in another. If you accumulate an excessive number of points, you could face a driver’s license suspension.
Being responsible for a hit and run can be intimidating and strenuous and can affect your physical and mental health. Moreover, it can significantly strain your finances when the police find you. So, regarding the question “I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me?”, it is best to turn yourself in and explain what really happened. Perhaps, there was an admissible reason for the accident and you for scared and fled. Make sure to work closely with an attorney to get a fair judgment.
Meanwhile, if you have full coverage car insurance, it can cover the cost of repairs and medical expenses. Do note that your car insurance provider may increase their premiums after you have been involved in an accident. After a hit and run, insurance providers tend to view the involved drivers as higher risk. But with time, you can expunge the car accident from your record.
Read also: Washington State SR22 Requirements