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How Long Can Police Charge Me After Accident

by Naveen Agarwal
Car Accident

After you commit a road accident or hit and run case, the period for which the police can charge you depends on how the accident has occurred. Generally, there can be two types of outcomes of a particular accident. Firstly, it can cause property destruction like the vehicle involved was damaged like a car, bike, or auto accident. The second case is where the consequences are either significant physical injury or death of a person. 

When Can The Police Charge For Road Accidents And How Long?

Drivers are said to be committing a hit-and-run crime when they are involved in a vehicle collision. In most cases, they leave the crime scene without providing any assistance or contact information to the victim. But in many states, there is a fixed amount of time within which the prosecutor needs to file the criminal charges. After this period is over, no charges can be filed upon the offending party.

If the accident causes potential property damage, usually, the police can charge the offending party within six months to a year from the date of the accident. Regarding the other case, the police can charge up to a much longer time as the consequences were more serious, leading to loss of life or serious physical injury. It can be up to three to five years. But, in this case, make sure, along with vehicle damage, someone was physically injured or maybe died.

What Do You Mean Hit And Run Accident?

A hit and run case occurs when the driver flees from the site of the accident without providing any medical assistance to the victim in case of vehicle collisions with lamp posts, pedestrians, cars, bikes, or anything else. The police may ask the driver to present certain documents after getting involved in the accident to present the charges. These documents include contact information, contact of the vehicle owner if the driver is not the owner, vehicle registration form, driver’s license, car’s license plate number, insurance details, and more. 

Some Tips Regarding Road Accidents

Suppose you have hit an unattended vehicle, then you should leave a compliance note with your contact information and explain the situation of how the accident occurred. The drivers should be aware of or know that they were involved in an accident before being convicted. But exceptions like in a DUI case, they are not aware of their crime, but still, they are proved guilty of the accident if they flee after committing the crime.

There are things that you should never do, like leaving the accident spot or forgetting to call the police. These can get you in deeper legal troubles. Even if it is a minor accident, never forget to call the police. Be honest about the case but don’t apologize immediately to the concerning party, and don’t go for immediate negotiations without consulting a lawyer. Never forget to consult a lawyer because dealing with insurance companies requires experience and sufficient legal knowledge. You might not get the exact value of insurance that you deserved. 


Even after keeping all the above points in mind, you should remember there’s a particular time limit within which the prosecutor must charge the offender. If the statutory time exceeds and you still didn’t apply, then most probably, the charges can be nullified unless something extremely serious like death has occurred as a consequence of the accident. So, don’t waste any excess time and immediately contact a lawyer to file the charges.

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