Woman being stopped by police in vehicle

What if You’re Accused of a Hit and Run Accident?

By Joel Hancock

When you’ve been involved in a car accident in North Carolina, it’s important that you stay at the scene of the accident to see if everyone else involved is okay and if there is any property damage. It’s also likely that you must notify the police and file a report of the accident.

While most people take these steps, some people fail to stick around and do not call law enforcement to report the accident. When this occurs, the police will often look for the other driver involved, searching based on the make, model, color, and damage to the vehicle. 

When the police believe that your vehicle matches the description of the vehicle involved, you may be accused of a hit-and-run and face charges. Here’s what to know about what you may face if accused of a hit-and-run accident.  


The penalties that you face are dependent upon how severe the accident was. Someone who doesn’t stay at the scene of the crash in which property damage occurred, may face misdemeanor charges of up to 120 days in jail and fines. But if someone injures another person and fails to stay at the scene of the crash and report it, they could face 4-25 months in jail, be ordered to pay fines, and lose their driver’s license. If serious bodily injury occurred, they could face 10-41 months in jail, pay large fines, and lose their license.  

In convicting you, the pros must show that did not meet your duty as a driver; that a reasonable person would have known that there was property damage or an injury and thus, would have stopped and stayed at the scene of the accident. The state is also responsible for proving that you were, in fact, involved in the accident. 


There are various pieces of evidence that you can admit to disprove the state’s claims such as local surveillance video, dash cam footage, or old police reports of prior accidents that account for the damage to your vehicle. Additionally, if you have been wrongly accused, an alibi can help to defend against the charges you face. You have options.

The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Charged with a Hit-and-Run

If you have been charged with a hit-and-run and believe that you are innocent or that your rights have been violated, you may have options. You have the right to defend yourself. Your best bet of doing so successfully is with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney who understands what you are up against and will fight on your behalf. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you to fight this charge. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.