Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-402) makes it a serious crime to leave the scene of an accident. The severity of the charge will depend upon a variety of factors.
In general, Illinois law requires that drivers exchange information when involved in a minor accident where there is no personal injury and only property damage that is less than $1,500. A driver who does not do so can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in the county jail. In cases where any vehicle is not insured, Illinois law requires that the accident be reported to local law enforcement if the property damage from the accident is greater than $500.
Situations where a person is accused of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury in Illinois are even more serious, and are charged as felonies. Leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury is a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison). If a death results, then the charge is a Class 2 felony, which can result in a 3-7 year prison term upon conviction.
Convictions for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois will also result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation, with the specifics of the license sanction depending upon the severity of the situation.
A person who is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident and then later sued for property damage or personal injury may also find that conviction causes them difficulties in the civil case, where a large amount of money may be at stake.
For all of the foregoing reasons, a charge of leaving the scene of an accident where there is property damage or personal injury in Illinois is a serious criminal matter that must be handled property.