There are several violations you can be charged with if you are accused of leaving the scene of an accident. It will depend on whether or not the car you hit was attended or unattended, whether or not there was damage to the other car, and how severe the injuries were to the other driver(s).
A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident with an unattended vehicle is a class 3 misdemeanor, the lowest level misdemeanor in Arizona. Typical consequences will be the conviction, a fine of around $500, and 6 points on your Arizona driving record.
A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident with an attended vehicle is a class 2 misdemeanor, however otherwise the consequences are similar to those for leaving the scene of an accident with an unattended vehicle.
Jail time for such convictions are unlikely, unless the circumstances were particularly egregious.
If you have any other tickets within the prior 12 months, the points from a leaving the scene of an accident conviction could result in an order to attend traffic survival school, or even a license suspension.
Mitigating the consequences when you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
If you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident, it is definitely worth fighting the ticket. These are tickets where there is room to improve on the outcome through negotiations with the prosecutor. Things that can be helpful might be:
- Offering a compelling reason why you fled the scene;
- Offering evidence that you attempted to contact or locate the other driver;
- Providing proof that your insurance has made the other driver whole (paid for the damage/injuries);
- Providing evidence of an otherwise clean driving record; and
- Providing evidence of your good character.
With the right factual circumstances, a good background, and the help of an experienced attorney, you have a good opportunity to secure a reduced plea or even a dismissal of the charge.