A man arrested following a hit-and-run accident in Oklahoma City told police he was rushing a sick child to the hospital when he struck another vehicle, but a witness and police say his story does not add up. The witness told police she was babysitting when one of the children came running up to her screaming after hearing several gunshots. She said she looked outside and saw a vehicle that had been struck. The driver of the vehicle said she had been hit by a truck that took off. The witness said she followed the truck in an attempt to get its tag number, and the driver of the truck fired several gunshots into the air, presumably in an attempt to scare her off. Police were notified that the driver was attempting to rush a child to the hospital, but when they investigated, the driver was not at the hospital. They found him a short time later, but he did not have a child with him. He was arrested on complaints of leaving the scene of an accident and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. Oklahoma hit-and-run laws are defined in the state's motor vehicle code. 47 O.S. § 10-102 - Accidents Resulting in Nonfatal Injury - Failure to Stop Drivers involved in nonfatal injury accidents are required by law to stop at the scene of the accident and to remain there to render aid and to provide correct name, address and registration number of the vehicle he is driving, driver license and security verification form. Failure to comply with this section is a felony punishable by 10 days to 2 years in prison and a fine ranging from $50 to $1,000. 47 O.S. § 10-102.1 - Accidents Resulting in Death - Failure to Stop If a driver involved in a fatal accident fails to stop at the scene and comply with the statutory requirements for providing true identification, he or she is charged with a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and fines of $1,000 to $10,000. 47 O.S. § 10-103- Accidents Involving Damage to Vehicle Even if the accident involves property damage alone, the drivers involved must stop and provide the information required by 47 O.S. § 10-104. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum jail term of one year. Under 21 O.S. § 652, using a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a weapon is a felony punishable by 2 years to life in prison. In the case described above, the hit-and-run driver faces serious felony prosecution for what could have been a minor traffic accident. Fleeing the scene of an accident is never a good idea. Even if you face criminal prosecution for DUI or an outstanding warrant if you remain, your attempts to evade arrest by leaving the scene of an accident will likely be penalized by criminal charges for both hit-and-run and whatever underlying charge you were attempting to avoid to begin with. Running from the law only complicates a legal problem. To find out more about the best way to handle your criminal case, click here to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.
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