The term Hit and Run applies to crimes where someone is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. The formal term under Oregon law is Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver When Persons or Property are/is injured/damaged. If it is not called by the slang term of Hit and Run, these crimes are abbreviated as “FPDD.”
This is charged when a driver knowingly leaves the scene of an accident where property is damaged. It is a Class A misdemeanor, and carries a 90 day license suspension. To get a conviction, the state must prove that the driver knew the property was damaged. In addition, it must be property of another – if only the driver’s property is damaged, then there is no need to stop.
It does not matter who was at fault in the accident – if someone breaks a traffic law and runs into you, you are still required to stop and exchange information. It also does not matter if the property is another vehicle or not. The state will charge FPDD if someone runs over a bush, or knocks over a mailbox, or hits a power pole and does not stay around.
Enforcement of this law is sometimes overzealous. Many people, especially in more rural areas, will often move their vehicle somewhere safe, and with better cell phone reception, before reporting the accident. The letter of the law states that the person is supposed to stay at the scene, but sometimes that is simply not possible. If you needed to leave the scene out of necessity, it is often possible to fight your case with the assistance of experienced traffic defense counsel.
Felony FPDD is charged when a driver leaves the scene of an injury accident. It is a Class C Felony, and can carry a year-long licenDUII, then felony Hit and Run charges can carry prison time, even for someone with no prior criminal history.
The state must prove that you knew someone was injured and you left anyway. In certain cases, like when a pedestrian is struck, there is often not much factual defense available. However, if a vehicle is struck, it may not be obvious at all that someone was injured, and there could be a valid argument that the driver is guilty of the misdemeanor Hit and Run, but not the felony.
Edward Kroll is a former prosecutor who understands how Hit and Run work and how best to defend them. If you or a loved is facing charges, contact Portland traffic defense lawyer Edward Kroll today for a free and confidential consultation, so we can prepare your defense.