A hit-and-run offense is a serious matter in Illinois. If convicted, punishment typically includes incarceration with a suspension of your driver’s license and hefty fines. At Richard F. Blass & Associates LLC., our objective is to avoid a conviction; when a prosecutor is successful, however, we work to negotiate a more lenient punishment.

If an individual faces an accusation of leaving the scene of an accident, the outcome may depend on whether it was an attempt to avoid a charge for driving under the influence. When a 23-year-old Illinois resident hit a bicyclist with his car, he initially claimed he left the crash scene because he “panicked.” As reported by The News-Gazette, law enforcement officials came to his home later that night and an intoxication test measured his blood-alcohol content at 0.14. The state’s legal limit is 0.08; any percentage over that provides grounds for an intoxication charge.

Because the bicyclist suffered serious injuries requiring hospitalization, the hit-and-run became a felony offense. The defendant, however, admitted to an aggravated DUI charge and worked with the prosecutor to drop the more serious felony hit-and-run charge.

The judge sentenced the young man to spend three weeks in county jail with 30 months of probation. He must also perform 200 hours of community service and pay fines and fees of about $5,400. In addition, he will wear a device that detects whether he consumed alcohol, which may violate his probation. Several support letters sent to the judge, including one written by the injured bicyclist, may have helped in securing a more lenient sentence than lengthy jail time.

Each case is different, and a strong legal defense may help in reducing punishment. Our page on hit-and-run defense provides more information on your legal rights.