Like other states, Wisconsin requires drivers to stop when involved in a traffic accident. Under Wisconsin statute section 346.67, drivers must pull their vehicle over to the scene as closely as possible. This rule applies to any collision in which someone has been injured or killed or when the collision has caused damage to someone else’s vehicle. Failure to do so is commonly called “hit and run.” It is also referred to as “fleeing the scene of an accident.”
It is vital to understand the consequences of the potential charges and penalties you may face when failing to adhere to this law. Understanding the Wisconsin laws that apply to operating your vehicle are crucial if you wish to avoid criminal ramifications that can affect your freedom, finances, and future.
What Are Your Obligations When Involved in an Accident?
Section 346.67 of Wisconsin law goes on to provide details as to what a driver must do when involved in any traffic accident:
- You must provide your name, address, and registration of your vehicle to the other driver, occupant, or person who attends the other vehicle
- You must show your driver’s license to the other driver, occupant, or person attending the other vehicle if requested to do so
- You must render assistance to anyone who was injured in the accident; this includes getting the person to a doctor or emergency room for medical care which can be done by calling 911
- All of the above must be performed without obstructing traffic any more than is necessary
You must provide your contact details when striking an unattended vehicle and leave those details in a conspicuous place for the owner to find. When damaging property next to or on a road, you must also try to locate the owner and leave your contact details.
In any traffic accident involving damage of $1,000 or more, you also have a duty to report it to law enforcement.
Charges & Penalties in a Wisconsin Hit & Run
How you are charged and the penalties you may face will depend on the seriousness of the accident.
If no one was hurt in the accident, it is generally charged as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $300 up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail. If someone was injured but it is was not to the extent of “great bodily harm,” then you will likely face a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to nine months in jail.
If you caused someone else an injury that is considered great bodily harm, you will face a potential Class E felony charge. It carries penalties of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Great bodily harm is defined under Wisconsin law as an injury that carries a substantial risk of death or that causes permanent disfigurement or the extended impairment of some part of the body.
A hit and run that results in another’s death is the most serious offense in this category. It carries Class D felony charges punishable by up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.
Charged? Call the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella
When faced with a hit and run criminal charge or any other type of criminal offense, the sooner you enlist the help of our attorney, the sooner we can get to work building your defense. Our firm brings more than 20 years of legal experience to your case as well as the distinction of being an Avvo Client’s Choice Award winner for outstanding service.
Book a free consultation through our online form or call us at (414) 882-8382 today.