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Reno, Nevada Hit-and-Run: Leaving the Scene Can Leave You in Big Trouble

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

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If you've been in a car accident or hit a pedestrian or cyclist in Reno and decide to hit the gas instead of staying at the scene, you are making a big mistake.

Hit-and-run in Reno is a serious offense. The consequences of leaving an accident scene or failing to lend assistance to others who may be injured can result in stiff penalties, including jail time.

There are actually many different Reno hit-and-run laws. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony largely depends on whether the accident involved only property damage or resulted in injury or death.  

  • Duty to Stay at Scene, Exchange Information and Render Aid. Regardless of whether there were injuries or not, NRS 484E.030 requires that every driver involved in a Reno car accident:
    • give his or her name, address and the registration number (and show their license upon request) to the driver or injured occupants of the other vehicle involved in the accident
    • give that same information and license upon request to any police officer at the scene of the accident or who is investigating the accident; and
    • provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including calling for an ambulance or otherwise getting the individual to a hospital if it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary, or if it is requested by the injured person.

If you hit a parked or unattended vehicle in Reno, you have a duty to stop and try to find the owner or else leave a written note with your name and address if you can't. You also have a duty to inform the police about the accident. (NRS 484E.040; NRS 484E.050).

  • Reno Hit-and-run Involving Property Damage Only. If the accident only involves property damage and you leave the scene and fail to exchange information, you are committing a Nevada misdemeanor. (NRS 484E.020). The penalties you can face for a Reno hit-and-run that causes only property damage include:
    • up to six months in jail, and/or
    • a fine of up to $1,000, and
    • six demerit points to your license.
  • Reno Hit-and-run Involving Injury or Death. You commit a Nevada category B felony if you flee the scene and fail to render aid after a Reno accident that causes injury or death. If convicted, you face:
    • a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 15 years in prison, and
    • a fine of not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000, and
    • possible license suspension and revocation.

There's a saying that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. The same can be said about leaving the scene of a Reno car accident. If you are facing a Reno hit-and-run charge, you need to contact an experienced Reno criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid the serious consequences of a conviction. Please give us a call to discuss your situation. (Also refer to our article on Las Vegas hit and run laws.)

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About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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