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"This case underscores that leaving the scene of an accident when individuals are injured is not only wrong; it is a serious crime," says Van Hollen
MADISON - The Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV, held today that it is a felony to run from the scene of an accident that resulted in injury.
Ross Brandt was convicted of three felony counts of hit and run involving injury. He claimed on appeal that he should have been convicted of misdemeanors rather than felonies because the crime of hit and run involving injury has a maximum penalty of nine-months' incarceration. He based his claim on statutes and case law involving the general categorization of crimes as felonies and misdemeanors.
The court of appeals rejected Brandt's argument. It held that the general provisions Brandt cited were trumped by a more specific statute, Wis. Stat. 346.74(5), that expressly designates the crime of hit and run involving injury as a felony.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen heralded the decision as a victory for everyone who uses Wisconsin roadways. "This case underscores that leaving the scene of an accident when individuals are injured is not only wrong; it is a serious crime."
Wood County Assistant District Attorney Craig Lambert prosecuted Brandt. Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Rapp St. John, from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, represented the state on appeal.