What Evidence is Needed to Convict for a Hit and Run Case?

what evidence is needed to convict a hit and run

If you’re dealing with a hit-and-run case, you likely have many questions about the evidence needed to prove fault or defend against charges. At Okoye Law, we’re here to provide the answers and support you need, whether you’re facing accusations or seeking compensation for your injuries.

Our attorneys will explain the key evidence in hit-and-run cases. We’ll break down what the prosecution needs to prove if you’re facing charges or what our personal injury team will use to build a strong case for compensation if you’ve been injured.

With Okoye Law by your side, you’ll have a clear understanding of your case and the best path forward.

What Prosecutors Must Prove in a Hit-and-Run Case

According to Section 56-5-1210 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, a driver involved in an accident resulting in injury or death must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene or as close as possible and remain there until they have fulfilled certain requirements, such as providing information and rendering aid.

To secure a conviction, prosecutors must prove that you:

  • Were driving a vehicle involved in an accident
  • The accident resulted in injury or death
  • Failed to stop immediately at the scene or as close as possible unless you temporarily left to report the accident to authorities
  • Did not provide your name, address, and registration number

Our criminal defense attorneys are here to protect your rights and build a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. We’ll thoroughly examine the prosecution’s case against you and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Evidence Needed to Convict on a Hit-and-Run Case

Building a strong case against a hit-and-run suspect requires a combination of various types of evidence, including:

Eyewitness Testimony and Identification

Eyewitness accounts can be powerful evidence in hit-and-run cases. Prosecutors will seek out individuals who witnessed the accident, saw the driver fleeing the scene, or can describe the vehicle and the suspect.

However, eyewitness testimony can sometimes be unreliable, as human memory is not always accurate, and witnesses may have only caught a glimpse of the incident. Defense attorneys will often challenge the credibility of eyewitness identifications and highlight any inconsistencies in their statements.

Video Surveillance and Traffic Camera Footage

In today’s world, video evidence has become increasingly important in criminal cases. Prosecutors will search for footage from traffic cameras, business security cameras, or even residential doorbell cameras that may have captured the accident or the vehicle fleeing the scene.

This visual evidence can help identify the make, model, and license plate of the car involved, as well as provide a clear picture of the driver.

Physical Evidence and Forensic Analysis

Physical evidence left at the accident scene can be a goldmine for prosecutors. This may include debris from the vehicle, such as broken headlights, mirrors, or paint transfers.

Tire marks and skid marks on the road can also help reconstruct the accident and link a specific vehicle to the scene. In some cases, DNA evidence like blood or hair found on the suspect’s vehicle or at the crash site can be used to identify the driver.

Digital Evidence and Electronic Records

Electronic records can play a significant role in hit-and-run investigations in the digital age. Prosecutors may subpoena cell phone records to determine if the suspect was using their phone during the accident or to track their location through GPS data. Social media posts, text messages, or emails may contain incriminating statements or evidence of the suspect’s whereabouts.

Penalties for Hit and Run in South Carolina

In South Carolina, failing to stop and comply with the requirements after an accident resulting in injury or death can lead to severe penalties. The consequences depend on the severity of the incident:

  • If the accident causes injury but not great bodily injury or death, it is a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of 30 days to 1 year in prison, a fine of $100 to $5,000, or both.
  • If great bodily injury results, it is a felony punishable by 30 days to 10 years in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $10,000.
  • If death results, it is a felony carrying a penalty of 1 to 25 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 to $25,000.

Aside from criminal charges, you may also be subject to a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim seeking compensation for their damages. This can result in significant financial consequences on top of any criminal penalties you may face.

Don’t make a bad situation worse by facing these charges alone – contact Okoye Law today to schedule your confidential consultation and let us fight for your rights and future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What evidence do police need to charge hit-and-run drivers in SC?

South Carolina police use physical evidence matching vehicles to crashed scenes, eyewitness testimony of drivers fleeing without stopping, and digital records plotting locations to provide prosecutors with documentation used to criminally charge hit-and-run drivers who violate requirements to stop, render aid, and share information.

Can you get convicted of hit-and-run with no witnesses in SC?

Yes, South Carolina prosecutors can still potentially convict hit-and-run drivers with no direct eyewitness accounts through compiling significant circumstantial evidence, including video footage, crash scene forensics matching painted car parts or fluid traces, and telematics records from cell phones or vehicle systems placing drivers in the vicinity of the crashes in question.

What actions demonstrate intent to evade responsibility after an SC accident?

South Carolina prosecutors establish hit-and-run drivers’ culpable intent rather than mere accident responses by presenting evidence of cover-ups like hiding or repairing vehicles, coordinated alibis concealing timelines, failures to later report collisions, prior hit-and-run offenses, and text messages implicating awareness of fault.

Don’t Let a Hit and Run Derail Your Life — We’re Here to Help

We understand that a hit-and-run incident can have far-reaching consequences for everyone involved. Whether you’ve been accused of leaving the scene of an accident or you’ve been injured by a driver who fled, our experienced attorneys are here to provide the legal guidance and support you need during this challenging time.

If you’re facing hit-and-run charges, our skilled criminal defense team will tirelessly protect your rights, investigate the evidence against you, and build a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. And if a hit-and-run driver has injured you, our dedicated personal injury attorneys will fight to help you secure the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Okoye Law is here to be your unwavering ally, no matter which side of a hit-and-run case you find yourself on. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation and take the first step toward achieving the best possible outcome for your situation.

Author Bio

rock hill criminal defense family and personal injury lawyers

Colin Okoye is the CEO and Managing Partner of Okoye Law, a Rock Hill, SC,  criminal defense, personal injury, and family law firm. With years of experience, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including DUI charges, divorce cases, and car accidents.

Colin received his Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law and is a South Carolina Bar Association member. His previous experience working as an Assistant Public Defender in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit has equipped him with the necessary skills and knowledge to represent clients in a wide range of cases effectively.

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