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Car accidents and felony charges in Oregon

When people think of legal consequences for a car accident, they might think about a traffic ticket. Maybe they get a speeding ticket, or a ticket for failing to signal or some other minor traffic violation. However, Oregon residents should know that there are a variety of serious charges that can follow a car accident. Even when a person is not intoxicated, if they do not follow certain rules, felony charges can follow.

In particular, drivers can face serious charges when involved in a hit-and-run with injuries. Under Oregon state law, following a car accident that results in the injury or death of another person, a driver has several duties.

First, the driver must stop their car as close to the accident scene as possible. The driver must remain on the scene of an accident until the police have arrived and have gathered all their required information. But, the driver can leave the scene if they need immediate medical attention.

Additionally, drivers in this situation are required to render aid to injured parties. This includes notifying the authorities or taking other reasonable steps to get the person medical assistance.

Drivers involved in car accidents with injuries must also exchange driver information -- including the person's registration and drivers' license -- with the other party and with the police following an accident.

If these duties are not fulfilled following a car accident, drivers can face felony charges. If the victim of the accident has an injury, then not fulfilling these duties is a Class C felony. However, if a victim of the accident dies or is seriously injured, then the driver can face a Class B felony. Felony charges, like these, can have serious consequences and often require legal help.

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