On August 24, 2021, a Rochester woman was arrested on charges of a fatal hit-and-run. The 30-year-old woman arrested not only likely faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident, but also second-degree manslaughter charges for the death of 20-year-old Nyasia Walker. According to accident reports, Walker was struck by the alleged defendant’s vehicle on August 9th—the Rochester resident was walking with a small group of other people when she was struck by a vehicle in the middle of the street, which then sped off without stopping. The victim was taken to the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in New York
Leaving the scene of an accident without filing an incident report is a serious offense in New York, especially in cases of serious or fatal injuries. While leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage is a traffic infraction, leaving the scene of an accident that results in personal injury to any persons involved in the accident is a Class B or a Class A misdemeanor. If injuries are serious, it’s possible for a motorist to face Class E felony charges. Leaving the scene of an accident that causes fatal injuries is a Class D felony charge. If facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident, calling a defense attorney immediately is strongly recommended.
Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 600(a), leaving the scene of an accident can result in fines and jail time in some cases. Felony charges can result in years in jail.
Penalties for Second-Degree Manslaughter
Second-degree manslaughter is even more serious than fleeing the scene of an accident; the defendant, in this case, may face charges for both offenses. Charges of manslaughter in the second degree are brought when a defendant allegedly recklessly caused the death of another person. Second-degree manslaughter is a Class C felony offense in New York and can result in a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a substantial fine if the defendant is convicted.
The most common defense to second-degree murder charges is proving that the defendant’s actions were not reckless. Under New York statute, “reckless” is defined as engaging in behavior that knowingly could present a substantial risk of injury or death to another person. In fatal car accident cases, excessive speeding, driving while intoxicated, and performing other illegal or dangerous maneuvers are all often classified as reckless behaviors.
Call a Rochester, NY Criminal Defense Attorney to Learn More
The case against the woman arrested in the fatal hit-and-run accident is still pending, but if convicted, the defendant may be looking at over a decade behind bars, large fines, and a permanent mark on her criminal record. Charges like this can forever alter the course of someone’s life.
At the office of King Law, our Rochester, NY criminal defense lawyer understands how terrible it is to be involved in an accident that results in the loss of life, and how terrifying it is to face criminal charges afterward. If you are facing criminal charges for reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, or manslaughter, our criminal defense attorney can help you. Reach out to us directly today to learn more about our legal services.