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The Consequences of Hit and Run: Missouri’s Strict Laws and Penalties

Missouri Hit and Run Laws

Have you ever been in an accident, whether by your fault or not, and felt the urge to drive away from the scene? If yes, then the Missouri Hit and Run laws are here to inform you on why leaving an accident scene is a huge mistake.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

The Missouri law mandates every person involved in an accident to stop their vehicle or property involved in the collision immediately. The law also states that individuals must remain at the scene or as close as possible to the scene until they can provide the following information:


Name and address

2. Registration number of the vehicle involved


Driver’s license

At the accident scene, you are also required to render reasonable assistance to anyone who has sustained injuries. Neglecting to fulfill your obligations is considered a Class A Misdemeanor, leading to hefty fines and up to a year in jail.

Furthermore, if the accident caused property damage only, you can still face penalties in the form of a Class D Misdemeanor. However, if you leave the accident scene after causing personal injury or death, you could face felony charges.

Factors such as fleeing the scene with an active warrant or committing the hit and run under a DUI charge can increase the severity of penalties you face.

Reporting a Hit and Run Accident

If you report the accident immediately, the authorities will conduct an investigation to find the perpetrator and allow everyone involved to file an insurance claim. By Missouri law standards, all reportable accidents require a law enforcement response and a written accident report within 5 days of the accident.

Failure to comply would lead to the revocation of your driving privileges. Additionally, suppose you have uninsured motorist coverage.

In that case, your policy may require you to file a police report to proceed successfully with the claim. However, suppose the hit and run accident leads to personal injuries.

In that case, the statute of limitations gives you up to 5 years to file a claim, covering medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress compensation.

Penalties for Hit and Run

The legal system has strict penalties for anyone who fails to stop after causing an accident. The severity of the penalty depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the incident, such as whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In the least severe cases, the judge may impose fines or order the defendant to serve jail time up to one year for small damages misdemeanors. In contrast, felony charges for fatalities or personal injuries may face 1-7 years in prison and hefty fines.

On top of serving fines and jail time, a driver charged with hit and run while driving under the influence (DUI) may have to complete a Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program (SATOP), which consists of alcohol and drug abuse assessment and treatment options. The state of Missouri places additional sanctions, such as license suspension and fines, when convicted of driving under the influence.

Administrative and Civil

Penalties for Hit and Run

Victims of hit and run accidents may hire personal injury lawyers to represent them in their compensation endeavor and file a personal injury claim. In a personal injury case, the victim’s lawyer must prove that the accused driver’s negligence caused their client’s injuries related to the accident.

If deemed eligible, victims may receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress. However, a judge may reduce the amount of their award if the victim is found partially at fault for the accident.

Dashcam footage can assist in determining whether the plaintiff shares some fault or not. It is important to note that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Missouri is up to 5 years, starting from the date of the accident.

If claims are not filed within the time frame, plaintiffs cannot get compensation. Defense strategies in a hit and run accident can include proving to the court that the defendant’s inaction did not lead to the accident or building an argument that the plaintiff’s dashcam footage is not reliable in determining guilt or blame.

Missouri Laws Related to DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a severe offense that can lead to criminal and administrative consequences in Missouri. Understanding the state laws related to DUI can help you avoid it.

Penalties for DUI

The consequences of drinking and driving in Missouri are severe and can be costly. The penalties for a first DUI conviction could lead to fines up to $500 and jail time up to 6 months.

If a driver receives a second conviction within five years of the first conviction, the penalties increase to fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to one year. Furthermore, if a driver is convicted of a DUI and causes an accident resulting in injury or death, they could face a felony with up to 15 years in prison.

Once you have successfully served your sentence, you may be eligible for the court to expunge your record regarding the DUI conviction.

Refusing a Drug or Alcohol Test

In Missouri, if a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can require a chemical test to determine their sobriety. Refusal to consent to a chemical test equals an automatic administrative license suspension for one year.

Additionally, drivers who refuse a chemical test are subject to criminal penalties, including up to a year in jail and immediate suspension of their driving privileges. If the driver refuses the chemical test, which resulted in a DUI arrest, they may also face criminal negligence charges.

Administrative and Civil

Penalties for DUI

Drunk driving has significantly contributed to personal injuries and fatalities in Missouri. The state has laws in place to ensure victims of drunk driving accidents are compensated.

If the victim experienced physical or emotional harm from the accident, they may file a personal injury lawsuit against the accused driver. The defendant’s insurance policy will cover the damages that the plaintiff’s case is based upon, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and future medical care.

Comparative fault also plays a significant role in personal injury lawsuits in Missouri.


The Missouri Hit and Run laws and DUI laws are complex and must be understood. By following state laws, individuals can avoid hefty fines, serve jail time, and improve safety on the roads for all.

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Laws Related to Reporting Road Accidents in Missouri

A road accident can occur at any time, resulting in significant physical and emotional damages to the parties involved. To mitigate the ensuing consequences, Missouri law requires individuals involved in road accidents to report the event.

It is crucial to understand these laws to avoid criminal charges, hefty fines, and administrative and civil penalties.

Reporting a Road Accident

According to Missouri state law, reportable accidents include any incident causing more than $500 worth of damage, resulting in injury or death of any party involved. If a reportable accident occurs, drivers must immediately inform the local law enforcement agency.

Furthermore, drivers involved in road accidents in Missouri must file a written accident report with the Department of Revenue within ten days of the occurrence. Failure to report an accident can lead to the suspension of the driver’s license.

Statute of limitations for filing an insurance claim for an accident in Missouri is up to five years; exceeding the period means the claim cannot be filed and compensation may not be available. Moreover, if you are involved in a reportable accident with an uninsured driver, you can still file a claim with your insurance company.

Insurance companies in Missouri offer uninsured motorist coverage for such incidents, where the victim’s insurance policy covers the damages.

Penalties for Failing to Report a Road Accident

Failing to report a road accident is a severe offense in Missouri and carries significant criminal consequences. Drivers who fail to report a reportable accident could face criminal charges, which can result in a fine up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to one year.

The degree of the penalty depends on the extent of damages, injury, and death caused by the accident.

Administrative and Civil Penalties for Road Accidents

Personal injuries and damages directly result from road accidents, leading parties involved in the accident to file a personal injury claim. Establishing negligence is crucial in Missouri’s personal injury cases, following the doctrine of comparative fault, where the parties involved share the fault.

Drivers whose negligence causes accidents in Missouri can face significant administrative and civil penalties. The victim may sue their negligent employees if they were acting within the scope of employment at the time of the accident.

The employer’s insurance policy may cover the damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and future care expenses. Furthermore, if the victim’s damages exceed the defendant’s insurance policy limit, the victim may recover the excess amount from their underinsured motorist insurance policy, if available.

Missouri Laws Related to Vehicular Manslaughter and Homicide

Vehicular manslaughter, homicide, or accidental killing of a human being caused by a driver’s operation of a vehicle is a severe crime in Missouri. Understanding these laws is necessary to avoid hefty fines, jail time, and administrative and civil penalties.

Definition of Vehicular Manslaughter and Homicide

Vehicular manslaughter, also referred to as involuntary manslaughter, refers to causing the death of an individual while operating a vehicle. This means the drivers act of operating the vehicle was not intentional, yet the result led to the death of another person.

A vehicular manslaughter charge in Missouri is a class C felony, leading to one to ten years of imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. Furthermore, vehicular homicide is the act of causing the death of another person while operating a vehicle with recklessness or criminal negligence.

Vehicular homicide in Missouri is also considered a class C felony, and a driver convicted of this crime can typically expect to serve 3-15 years in jail and pay fines up to $10,000.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter and Homicide

In Missouri, a driver found guilty of vehicular manslaughter or homicide may face penalties such as the revocation of their driving privileges. If driving privileges are revoked, the convicted driver must complete a Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) to reinstate their license.

Furthermore, convicted drivers may face fines up to $10,000 and may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim’s family. Finally, convicted drivers may face long jail sentences, depending on the severity of the crime.

Administrative and Civil

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter and Homicide

Those found guilty of vehicular manslaughter or homicide may face both administrative and civil penalties. Victims of such accidents can file personal injury claims against the drivers to recover damages.

Personal injury claims can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and reimbursement for pain and suffering. If the victim of vehicular manslaughter or homicide was the sole breadwinner of their family, the family could file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

Under Missouri’s comparative fault law, the judge or jury overseeing the case can assign percentages of fault to each party involved based on their negligence. The compensation awarded for the victim reduces by the percentage of their contribution to the incident under comparative fault laws.

In conclusion, understanding Missouris laws related to reporting road accidents, vehicular manslaughter, and homicide is incredibly important. By honoring these legal obligations, drivers in Missouri can avoid the hefty penalties imposed by law.

However, if involved in any of these circumstances, it is best to consult with legal representation to understand the specifics of the case fully. In conclusion, understanding the laws surrounding hit and run, reporting road accidents, DUI, and vehicular manslaughter in Missouri is crucial to avoid serious legal consequences.

By following these laws, individuals can ensure their safety on the roads, protect the rights of victims, and maintain the integrity of the legal system. Remember, reporting accidents, fulfilling obligations, and obeying the law not only prevent criminal charges, fines, and jail time but also contribute to a safer and more responsible driving environment for all.

Stay informed, drive responsibly, and prioritize the well-being of yourself and others on the road.

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