Introduction 

Accidents involving vehicles are often distressing, but hit-and-run incidents can be particularly frustrating. If you find yourself a victim of a hit-and-run accident in Mississippi, understanding your rights, the legal consequences for the fleeing driver, and the steps to take for compensation is crucial. As of May 2023, Senate Bill 2556 has brought significant amendments to the Mississippi Code of 1972, impacting penalties for various driving-related offenses, including hit-and-run incidents. Wilson Law Firm P.C recognizes the importance of staying informed about these changes to ensure individuals understand the legal implications surrounding hit-and-run charges. In this blog post, we will delve into the key modifications introduced by Senate Bill 2556 and their impact on drivers in Mississippi. 

Overview of Senate Bill 2556 

Senate Bill 2556 focuses on amending several sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to increase penalties for driving or operating a motor vehicle without a valid operator’s license, failure to have vehicle liability insurance, and the consequences of hit-and-run accidents. Let’s explore the amendments that specifically pertain to hit-and-run incidents. 

Changes in Hit-and-Run Penalties 

Section 63-3-401 

The amended Section 63-3-401 addresses the penalties for a driver involved in an accident resulting in injury or death. With this section, the penalties for failing to stop or comply with the requirements have been intensified.  

  • For a hit-and-run resulting in injury, a conviction may lead to imprisonment for not less than 60 days nor more than two years, or a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $5,000.  
  • In cases resulting in death or severe injuries, the driver may face a felony charge, punishable by imprisonment for five to twenty years, or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. 

Section 63-3-403 

Section 63-3-403 focuses on hit-and-run incidents resulting only in damage to a vehicle. The amended section outlines that any person failing to stop or comply with the requirements under such circumstances is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the defendant may face imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than thirty days, or a fine ranging from $100 to $500, or both. 

Implications and Recommendations 

With the amended penalties, hit-and-run offenses now carry more severe consequences. It is essential for individuals to be aware of these changes and act responsibly on the road. If you find yourself involved in a hit-and-run incident, immediate actions can make a significant difference: 

  1. Stop and Fulfill Legal Obligations: Always stop at the scene of an accident and exchange necessary information. 
  1. Document the Incident: If possible, document details of the fleeing driver, including the make and model of the vehicle, and any license plate information. Collecting eyewitness accounts and checking for nearby security cameras can also be valuable. 
  1. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and early medical documentation is crucial. 
  1. Contact Legal Representation: If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, seeking legal representation, such as Wilson Law Firm P.C, is advisable. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process and help pursue the compensation you deserve. 

Conclusion 

Senate Bill 2556 brings noteworthy changes to hit-and-run penalties in Mississippi. Understanding these amendments is crucial for all drivers to ensure compliance with the law and to be prepared in case of unforeseen accidents. Wilson Law Firm P.C stands ready to assist individuals dealing with hit-and-run incidents, providing expert legal counsel to navigate through these complex situations. Give us a call today for a complimentary consultation, and we will assess your situation and see what we can do to get you your best-case scenario.  

Mississippi; stay informed, drive responsibly, and know your rights under the updated legislation.