Jon Jones Facing Felony Hit and Run Charges – What is Needed for Conviction?

With Jon Jones facing felony charges based on allegations that he was involved in a hit and run motor vehicle collision the next question is what is required under New Mexico law to prove the case against him?  Here is a quick breakdown –

Section 66-7-203 NMSA 1978 requires every motorist to stay at the scene of any collision involving injury, death or property damage and to “give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving“.

Failure to do so in cases involving death or personal injuries violates section 66-7-201 and, depending on the level of injury can result in either felony or misdemeanor charges.  The Section reads as follows:

66-7-201. Accidents involving death or personal injuries.  
A.   The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible, but shall then immediately return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 66-7-203 NMSA 1978. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.   
B.   Any person failing to stop or to comply with the requirements of Section 66-7-203 NMSA 1978 where the accident results in great bodily harm or death is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.   
C.   Any person who knowingly fails to stop or to comply with the requirements of Section 66-7-203 NMSA 1978 where the accident results in great bodily harm or death is guilty of a third degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.   
D.   Any person failing to stop or comply with the requirements of Section 66-7-203 NMSA 1978 where the accident does not result in great bodily harm or death is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Subsection A of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.   
E.   The director shall revoke the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of the person so convicted.   
  History: 1953 Comp., § 64-7-201, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 390; 1987, ch. 97, § 2; 1987 ch. 101, § 1; 1989, ch. 383, § 1. 
_______________________________

Misdemeanor charges are reserved for cases “where the accident does not result in great bodily harm“.  If the case does involve “great bodily harm” it can lead to a fourth degree felony with a penalty of up to “eighteen months imprisonment.”.  If it can further be proven that a defendant “knowingly” failed to stay at the scene the charges can be upgraded to a third degree felony with penalties increasing up to three years of imprisonment.

Based on the media reports it sounds like Jones may be facing the more serious of the felony charges as his reported post collision conduct can be used to prove the ‘knowingly‘ element of the more serious charge.

The bigger issue will be whether the reported broken arm is enough to constitute “great bodily harm” which is defined as follows:

“”great bodily harm” means an injury to the person which creates a high probability of death; or which causes serious disfigurement; or which results in permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any member or organ of the body“.

If the injury at the very least leads to a “protracted impairment of function” then this element can be met.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Jon Jones Facing Felony Hit and Run Charges – What is Needed for Conviction?

  1. I think it was stupid of him. I hate to see a brother go down like this. After beating Danial I found a new respect for him now. It’s all gone big dissapointment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s