Hypothetical here.

Suppose Alice is pulled over by Officer Bob. Bob gets out of his car, and on his way to Alice's car is struck by vehicle C, sending Bob to the ground. Bob does not rise immediately, so Alice decides this is her lucky day and drives away, without alerting anyone as to what transpired.

The police later catch up with Alice. What will she be charged with?

Link to a similar question, where the person in the officer's custody was struck

2 Answers 2


The answer by @Digital fire is not always correct. Some states have passed general-purpose "duty to rescue" statutes. The one I've been trained about is Vermont's

(Cite as: 12 V.S.A. § 519)

§ 519. Emergency medical care

(a) A person who knows that another is exposed to grave physical harm shall, to the extent that the same can be rendered without danger or peril to himself or herself or without interference with important duties owed to others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person unless that assistance or care is being provided by others.

The statue goes on to provide good Samaritan protection and state the penalty for violating the statute: a fine of not more than $100.

Digital Fire does refer to the Wikipedia article about a duty to act/rescue, but the lead of that article says it is referring to torts, that is, whether the person who wasn't assisted (or his/her estate) could bring a lawsuit against the person who didn't help. But the Vermont statute creates an offense with which the suspect could be charged in a criminal trial.


This will vary from state to state as some states have "Duty to act/rescue" laws. Generally, There is no duty to assist anyone during a medical emergency or accident.

In some states like Florida, There is a statue called the "Good Samaritan Act" which will grant immunity to anyone trying to offer assistance in good faith. The person rendering the aid must act as a reasonably prudent person would. This means that the law will not protect anybody who does not have a medical license that performs an emergency surgery at the roadside.

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