When you’re in a car accident in Wisconsin, you’re supposed to stop, exchange information with the other driver, and in some cases, wait for police or other first responders to arrive. If you don’t, you could be charged with the crime of hit and run – and that’s a serious offense under Wisconsin law.
Hit and Run, Defined
The Wisconsin legal system allows a jury to convict you if you operated a vehicle involved in an accident and:
- You knew you were involved in an accident
- The accident resulted in damage to the other vehicle, or resulted in injury or death of another person involved
- You did not immediately stop and remain at the scene (or close to the scene) to share information (such as your name, address and registration) to the other driver, or show your license upon request, or render aid to anyone injured in the accident
What is the Penalty for Hit and Run in Wisconsin?
If you’re convicted of hit and run, the penalties depend on the damage and injuries stemming from the accident. If nobody was hurt, you could still be looking at 6 months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, if someone was injured or killed, the criminal penalties allowed under Wisconsin law are much steeper:
- If someone was injured but didn’t suffer great bodily harm, you can go to jail for up to 9 months and pay fines of up to $10,000.
- If someone is injured and suffered great bodily harm, it’s a Class E felony with up to 10 years in prison, up to 5 years in extended supervision, and fines of up to $50,000.
- If someone was killed, it’s a Class D felony with up to 15 years in prison, up to 10 years in extended supervision, and fines of up to $100,000.
Related: Criminal driving and traffic violations
Do You Have to Stay if the Accident Wasn’t Your Fault?
If you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault, stay. Do not leave. Even if the police aren’t coming, you still need to share information with the driver and render aid.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Hit and Run in Wisconsin?
If you’ve been accused of hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident, we may be able to help you. It’s a good idea to call our office at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation as soon as possible.