Richmond Hit and Run Lawyer
Hit and run in Richmond, Virginia is a failing to stop at the scene of an accident or as close to the scene of an accident as possible. It is also the failure to report damage or injury to the police or property owner. It is further the failure of the driver to report it in a reasonable time if the facts of the accident or the facts of the scenario prevent them from reporting it immediately.
If you have been charged with hit and run, it is important you contact a Richmond traffic lawyer as soon as possible as you could be facing fines and potentially even jail time. The following is more information you should know about hit and run accidents, to learn more call today and schedule a free consultation
Does Someone Need to Be Hurt For A Hit-And-Run Charge?
There does not need to be any injury or any injured party for a hit and run charge. A hit and run charge can stem merely from what is called unattended property. That could be a mailbox, a fence, or a parked car.
However, passengers can also be charged in hit and run cases if they are viewed as an accomplice to the act, if they had encouraged or had helped in the act of driving the vehicle or escaping from the scene of the crime.
What Level Of Offense Is Hit-And-Run In Richmond, Virginia? If Someone Is Injured?
Most hit and run cases are Class 1 misdemeanors. If there is no injury and the property damage is less than a $1000 then it is a class 1 misdemeanor with up to 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine. However if the case where there is damage to property over a $1000 or there is injury to any individual or possibly death to an individual then the matter becomes a Class 5 felony.
What Are Some Common Ways You Have Seen Hit-And-Run Charged?
Some of the most common ways hit and run charges are from individuals who are either driving intoxicated or driving with a suspended license. Typically in an attempt to not get charged for the underlying offense an individual will drive off from the scene of an accident causing these charges. Hence one charge becomes much more aggravated and it is when hit and run occurs. To find out more about hit and run charges in Richmond:
What Do Officers Look For When Pulling Someone Over For Hit-and-Run?
Officers in a hit and run case are typically looking for signs of intoxication and drug use. They are trying to determine if the hit and run was done to hide another issue. In addition, what they are looking for is injuries to any individuals and they are looking for significant damages as a result of it either to your own vehicle or to unattended property. What they are also trying to determine is the underlying cause of the hit and run and that comes back to is there drugs or alcohol involved, is there a firearm being hidden, something like that.
Is Hit-And-Run A Common Offense In Richmond, Virginia?
It is a very common offense. Being a city with a large student body, there are high number of instances of DUI and suspended licenses and as a result hit and run offenses are actually quite common. Most hit and run cases in Richmond, Virginia actually involve unattended property – parked cars, mailboxes, fences. Those are the most common and they are of the Class 1 misdemeanor variety.
Do Commonwealth Attorneys Prosecute Hit-And-Run Cases In Richmond, Virginia?
They do prosecute hit and run cases, the felony version and the misdemeanor version. Prosecutors will very strictly prosecute the hit and run cases that involve drugs and alcohol, in particular when injuries occur. If it is a felony case the prosecutors in Richmond, Virginia are unlikely to consider any mitigating factors or anything of that nature especially when it is a case that involves injuries to any individuals and especially in a case that involves a DUI.
What Should I Expect From A Hit-And-Run Case In Richmond, Virginia?
A hit and run case will very much depend on the actual offense whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. If it is a misdemeanor case then it will be tried in the General District Court. The prosecutors will get involved in most cases if it is a misdemeanor case especially when it involves property. An attorney can move to try and workout a plea agreement if restitution is paid to the property owner. In felony cases they will be tried in the circuit court. Again in a case like that if it is a property damage case then restitution is very important to try and take care of.
If it is a case involving injury then the individual is likely looking at a significant jail sentence.
How Can A Richmond, Virginia Hit-And-Run Lawyer Help?
What a Richmond hit and run lawyer can do is attempt to provide defenses to the case so that they were not the cause of the accident, they were not driving the vehicle, or that notice was actually provided to the person hit or the property owner in that case. What a defense attorney can also do is provide mitigating factors to the prosecutor whether someone was driving with fear for their life, or driving as a result of an emergency and that is how the accident came to be. An attorney can also attempt to negotiate a plea agreement based on restitution payments which sometimes can result in a felony being reduced down to a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor charge resulting in no jail sentence and just a minor fine.