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What is the process to arrest someone for a hit and run with property damage?- attorney guide

What is the process to arrest someone for a hit and run with property damage?

According to an attorney, A hit and run accident occurs when one of the drivers involved in the crash leaves the scene of an accident when he/she did not share his contact information, report the accident to the authorities, or didn’t render help if someone is injured.

You will have committed a crime if you left the scene of an accident and depending on where you come from, you could face charges of either hit and run misdemeanor or hit and run felony depending on the gravity of the accident. 

Charges of hit and run misdemeanor imply you were involved in a minor case of hit and run where there were either minor bodily injuries, and or property damages only. 

On the other hand, if there are deaths, or severe personal injuries, expect to face charges of hit and run felony.

Alright, assume you just committed a minor hit and run, What is the process to arrest someone for a hit and run with property damage? what are the consequential penalties of hit and run? Looking for answers, continue reading on.

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Gathering Information: The Importance of Collecting Evidence in Hit and Run Cases

If you are a victim of a hit and run crime, then you must act smartly in order to stand a chance of winning a hit and run lawsuit or to successfully cause a civil action against the driver that fled the scene of an accident.

car accident police report

You must gather as enough evidence as possible. Any chances of receiving damages for your financial losses hinges on how strong the evidence you were able to gather at the scene of the accident. 

To successfully pursue a hit and run accident lawsuit, you must do the following.

  • You must prove that the accident occurred
  •  that the other driver knew the accident occurred
  • That you suffered injuries or losses 
  • Your losses and injuries were due to the very accident
  • The driver deliberately fled the scene causing the accident. 

To prove the above, you must collect uncontestable pieces of evidence right at the accident scene. The following are pieces of evidence you will need to convict another driver for a hit and run crime.

  • Photos of the accident scene, damaged cars in contact, etc.
  • Eyewitness statements.
  • Photos of the injuries suffered in the accident.
  • Car accident footage from nearby security cameras
  • The other driver’s car information is like the direction of travel, car color, make, and model.
  • The other car’s license plate information.

You and I know that, gathering such pieces of evidence is not easy, right? This is because, the other driver fled the accident scene without speaking to you.

In fact, according to statistics, only 5-10% of hit and run cases are investigated and solved by police. The reason behind many hit and run drivers getting away with their crime is lack of evidence.

Reporting the Crime: How to Notify the Authorities and File a Police Report.

Yes, you must report the car crash to the police, or else you will be charged with a hit and run offense. If you are a hit-and-run victim, it’s a must that you report the crash to the police as soon as possible.

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In fact, you should not leave the scene of an accident before police arrived at the scene and compiled a police report. A police report usually includes facts about the accidents and the police’s opinions as far as the crash is concerned. 

Depending on where you live, a car accident police could help you to successfully pursue both criminal or civil actions against the hit and run driver, and also may help you get compensated by the insurance company.

Investigating the Incident: What Happens During a Hit and Run Investigation?

According to an attorney, When a hit and run accident occurs, officers will kick in and start investigating the crime based on the pieces of evidence on their table. The investigating officers need the already mentioned pieces of evidence, in addition to tire marks, debris, and witness statements.

If one of the drivers fled the scene of an accident, the investigating officers will kick in to locate the driver. They will traverse body shops, and towing yards and will also look into various auto insurance databases.

Once they have a hit-and-run suspect, police will interview the hit and run driver, speak to eyewitnesses, examine the car, and the police may ask the hit and run suspect to take a breathalyzer test.

If the suspect is found guilty of hit and run crime, he/she will be charged with either hit and run felony or hit and run misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the car accident. 

Of course, property damage only implies a minor hit and run, and therefore the driver will face charges of hit and run misdemeanor. The penalties for minor hit and run include jail time, fines, and suspension of your driving license.

Identifying the Suspect: Techniques Used to Find and Arrest Hit and Run Drivers

As I already said, it’s very hard to identify and arrest the hit and run suspect drivers. However, the following are techniques and tricks police usually use to arrest and charge hit and run offenders. 

1. Police usually use the pieces of evidence gathered at the accident scene such as photos, witness statements, and vehicle accident footage. With such information, the police will be able to tell the car model, make, color, and license plate information. 

2. Usually hit and run drivers take their cars for secret repairs and police know this. To stand a chance of finding the hit and run drivers, police will visit body shops and visit insurance company databases to see if there is any person matching the evidence filed a compensation claim.

3. Flyers and post other information. Police will try to pass on such information to the public and see if any person has clues about the hit and run accident.

4. Use of social media and other networks. Police usually will visit various social media to find out if any person has posted anything to do with the crash. Police itself will post information there and by chance, an eyewitness could come out and give leads.

5. Once the suspect has been identified, police will use their undercover tactics and do more investigations before the driver is arrested and charged with a hit-and-run crime.

5. If the suspect is located and arrested by police, they may face charges for hit and run with property damage and could also be held liable for any damages caused by the accident.

Understanding the Charges and Penalties for Hit and Run with Property Damage

Usually, a hit and run misdemeanor is the crime a driver will face as his charges and penalties for a hit and run with property damages. As I said earlier, the suspect will face jail time, fines, and or suspension of his/her driver’s license. 

car accident

Generally speaking, the charges and penalties of a hit and run misdemeanor (penalties of a minor hit and run) include up to 12 months jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to 12 months suspension of your driving license.

From an attorney’s perspective, Below are examples of charges and penalties for hit and run with property damages (hit and run misdemeanor).

1. The charges and penalties of hit and run with property damages in California is up to 6 months in jail and or a fine of up t $1,000.

2. The charges of minor hit and run in Ohio include a $500 fine, up to 6 months in jail and your driving license could be suspended for up to 6 months.

3. The charges and penalties for minor hit and run in Texas includes up to 6 months of jail time, and a fine between $200-$500. Penalties depend on the gravity of the misdemeanor committed.

4. In Nebraska, your charges and penalties for a minor hit and run depend on whether it’s your first hit and run crime or not. Expect to spend from 6-12 months in jail and a fine not exceeding $1,000.

Leaving the scene of an accident no injuries

A driver that illegally leaves the scene of an accident commits a hit-and-run crime. The charges and penalties for leaving the scene of an accident with no injuries are the same penalties you will get for hit and run property damages only.

Both incidents are classified as minor cases of hit-and-run crime and depending on where you come from, you could be charged with a certain class of a hit and run misdemeanor.


What is the process to arrest someone for a hit and run with property damage? 

In conclusion, the process of arresting someone for a hit and run with property damage involves several steps, these include reporting the accident, gathering evidence, and identifying and locating the suspect.

 It’s important for you to take immediate action to increase the chances of apprehending the responsible party.

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