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Sterling, Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney | A Driver and Passenger's Duties In An Accident

Author: Portner & Shure

Loudoun County Police arrested and charged two people on Friday for assaulting a victim and then trying to run him over after he attempted to break up a fight.

According to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office report, deputies were called to the Cascades Marketplace shopping center in Sterling, VA just before 2 a.m. A North Carolina man, 41 was assaulted by Freddy L. Prem, 24 and Javier Benitez, 22 after the victim reportedly tried to break up a fight between two parties in the parking lot in the shopping center, police said.

The victim lost his shoes and some clothing while he was assaulted. When he tried to grab his items, Prem who was driving a car with Benitez as a passenger circled the parking lot and, "according to witnesses, intentionally struck the victim before fleeing the scene," police said.

The victim was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he was treated for his non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released from the hospital since then, officials said.

Deputies found the vehicle and arrested the driver and a passenger. Prem has been charged with malicious wounding, felony hit and run and drunk in public. Benitez has been charged with malicious wounding and failure to render aid. Benitez was also charged with DUI that was not directly related to the initial incident, police said.

In Virginia, the crime of malicious wounding (Code of Virginia Section 18.2-51) is committed by intentionally causing injury to another person with the intent to kill or very seriously injure the victim.

A driver's duties in an accident are described in the Code of Virginia Section 46.2-894. The driver of a vehicle who is involved in an accident where injuries occur or there is another vehicle involved that is occupied has certain duties as required by Virginia Law:

  • To immediately stop at the scene of the accident;
  • To report his name, address, driver's license number, and registration number to
  • State Police or local law enforcement agency;
  • The person struck or injured (if they can are able to understand and retain that information);
  • Or the driver or other occupants of the vehicle collided with
  • Or the custodian of the damaged property
  • To render reasonable assistance to any injured person, including obtaining and transporting the injured person to medical treatment.

Violations of Section 46.2-894 of the Code of Virginia are a Class 5 felony (1 day to 10 years in prison) if anyone in the accident suffers an injury or death, or if the accident results in more than $1,000.00 of property damage. Violations are a Class 1 misdemeanor (1 day to 12 months in jail) if there were no injuries and the accident resulted in less than $1,000 in property damage.

A passenger's duties in an accident are described in Section 46.2-895 of the Code of Virginia. In an accident where there are injuries or death or when another occupied car is involved, and the driver of the vehicle fails to stop at the scene of the accident, any passengers in the vehicle have a duty to report the accident to the State Police or local law enforcement, within 24 hours of the time of the accident.

Failure to comply with this statute is a Class 6 Felony (1 day to 5 years in prison) if the accident resulted in the death or injury of any person. If the accident involved only damage to property, a conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor (1 day to 12 months in jail).

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