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Hit and Run

Colorado law prohibits leaving the scene of a crash after an accident causing property damage or injury to any person. Types of hit and run charges in Colorado include:

  • Hit and run under CRS 42–4–1601
  • Hit and run with injury under CRS 42-4-1603
  • Failure to file an accident report under CRS 42-4-1606

The possible penalties for leaving the scene of a crash depend on whether anyone was injured. If only property damage occurred, then the crime is charged as a misdemeanor. If anyone was seriously injured or killed, then the crime is charged as a felony.

A conviction for leaving the scene of a crash might result in the DMV adding twelve (12) points to your driving record. In addition to possible jail time and heavy fines, the court might also require you to pay restitution for property damage or personal injury.

In addition to the criminal penalties, you might also face a civil lawsuit to recover money damages for property damage, personal injury, or wrongful death.

Leaving the Scene Attorney in Denver, Colorado

If you were involved in a hit and run crash, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Denver, CO, at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..

Attorney Matt Martin can help you protect your rights, come into compliance with the law, cooperate with your insurance company, and fight the criminal charges to avoid the harsh penalties.

Matthew Martin represents clients accused of hit and run in the city of Denver, and the surrounding areas in the Front Range region including:

    • Brighton in Adams County
    • Centennial and Littleton in Arapahoe County
    • Boulder and Longmont in Boulder County
    • Broomfield in Broomfield County
    • Castle Rock in Douglas County
    • Golden in Jefferson County

Call (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation free.

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Legal Obligations after a Motor Vehicle Crash

During the consultation, learn more about the legal obligations that occur after a car accident in Colorado.

The legal obligation depends on whether you hit unattended property, an occupied vehicle, or a pedestrian. If anyone is injured in a crash, then you have a duty to give aid.

If you are driving a vehicle involved in a crash, then you are legally obligated to stop and remain at the scene of the crash unless:

  • no one is hurt in the accident;
  • you leave the scene to lawfully report the accident to law enforcement as required by CRS 42-4-1606;
  • you are injured in the crash and leave the scene in order to obtain medical attention.

Colorado law also recognizes that you might need to move your vehicle a short distance away after the crash in order to avoid obstructing traffic.


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Hit and Run Involving Unattended Property

If a collision with unattended property or an unoccupied vehicle causes damage, then you must stop and take the following action:

  • locate and notify the owner of the unoccupied vehicle or unattended property;
  • securely attach written notice to the damaged property in a conspicuous place.

If you leave a written notice on the property, it must list the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your vehicle’s registration number

If requested, you might also be required to report the accident to the police and return to the scene of the accident.


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Penalties for Hit and Run in Colorado

The penalties for leaving the scene of a crash in Colorado depend on a variety of factors including:

  • whether the crash involved another unoccupied vehicle or other unattended property;
  • whether only property damage occurred;
  • whether anyone involved in the crash suffered a non-serious injury, a serious bodily injury, or death.

For purposes of Colorado’s statute prohibiting leaving the scene of a crash, the term “injury” is defined to include any physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical or mental condition.

The term “serious bodily injury” is defined to including an injury that involves, either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time any of the following:

  • burns of the second or third-degree or broken bones or fractures;
  • injuries causing a substantial risk of death;
  • injuries causing a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement; or
  • injuries causing a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body.

Penalties for Hit and Run of an Unoccupied Vehicle

A hit and run involving an unoccupied vehicle or other unattended property can be charged as a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. The penalties for leaving the scene of a crash involving an unoccupied vehicle or other unattended property include:

  • up to 90 days in jail; and
  • up to a $300 fine

Penalties for Hit and Run with Non-Serious Injury

In Colorado, leaving the scene of a crash resulting in non-serious injury to another can be charged as a class 1 traffic misdemeanor punishable by:

  • ten (10) days to twelve (12) months in jail
  • a fine of $300-$1,000.

Penalties for Hit and Run with Serious Bodily Injury

In Colorado, leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious injury to another under CRS 42-4-1603 can be charged as a class 4 felony punishable by:

  • two (2) to six (6) years prison; and
  • a fine of $2,000-$500,000.

Penalties for Hit and Run with Death

In Colorado, leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death can be charged as a class 3 felony punishable by:

  • four (4) to twelve (12) years in prison; and
  • a fine of $3,000-$750,000.

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Statute of Limitations in Hit and Run Cases

The statute of limitations for hit and run crimes depends on how the crime is charged. If the prosecutor doesn’t bring charges within the allotted time, then the prosecution is barred. The time limits include:

  • one year for any traffic misdemeanor;
  • three years for any Class 4 felony involving serious bodily injury;
  • five years for any Class 3 felony involving a fatality; and
  • ten years for any Class 3 felony involving a fatality also involving a vehicular homicide under CRS 18-3-1-6.

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Additional Resources

Leaving the Scene Laws in Colorado | CRS – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about their laws regarding what to do when you’ve been involved in a serious accident. Find out the procedures, the consequences for not performing them at a car accident, and what happens when you leave the scene of an automobile crash.

Colorado Motorcycle Accident Fund – Motorcyclists are more commonly involved in hit and runs than any other driver. Visit the official website for the Colorado Nonprofit Association to learn more about a organization dedicated to helping motorcyclists receive the medical care they need after an accident.


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Hit and Run Defense Lawyer in Denver, CO

If you or someone you know has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. as soon as possible. With over 20 years of experience in defending clients from traffic crime penalties, attorney Martin has the knowledge needed to build a formidable defense for you. Don’t wait another moment to protect your rights and future. Get started building your defense with Colorado hit and run attorney Matthew Martin today.

Call (303) 725-0017 to schedule your first consultation free of charge.


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