Roanoke Hit and Run Defense Lawyers Representing Clients Facing Criminal Charges
Every driver in Virginia has a legal obligation to stop after colliding with another vehicle. This is required, so drivers have the opportunity to exchange insurance information and call for medical help if needed. If a driver fails to fulfill this legal obligation, he could face hit and run criminal charges.
Are you facing criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident? If so, seek legal representation from the criminal defense law firm of Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC at once. Seth C. Weston is a skilled hit and run attorney with the legal knowledge and experience to defend you against these criminal charges.
What is Considered A Hit and Run in Virginia?
A hit and run accident occurs when one driver leaves the scene instead of stopping to exchange information with the other parties. Hit and run charges are only filed if someone was injured or killed in the accident or if the crash caused property damage. This means the law considers crashing into a parked car and leaving the scene a hit and run as long as there was property damage.
If there was no damage, injuries, or fatalities, the driver that left the scene of the accident will not face criminal charges.
Is A Hit and Run A Felony Crime in Virginia?
Leaving the scene of an accident can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the nature of the crime. If no one was injured or killed in the accident and the property damage was valued at less than $1000, this is a class 1 misdemeanor hit and run. But, if there were injuries, fatalities, or property damage valued at over $1000, the crime becomes a class 5 felony.
What Are the Legal Consequences For A Hit and Run Conviction?
The legal consequences for this crime will vary depending on whether it is charged as a felony or misdemeanor. A hit and run with an injury, fatality, or substantial property damage is a felony, so it carries more serious penalties.
This felony charge could lead to up to 10 years behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines. A class 1 misdemeanor hit and run can lead to no more than one year in jail in addition to up to $2500 in fines.
If someone was injured or killed in the crash, the driver who is accused of leaving the scene could also face civil penalties. The victim or the victim’s family could pursue compensation by filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
What Are Possible Defenses to Hit and Run Charges?
Hit and run charges are highly defendable. The law states that a driver is not required to immediately stop at the scene of the accident if his injuries that were sustained in the crash prevent him from doing so.
However, the law states that a driver in this situation must contact authorities and make an effort to locate the driver as soon as reasonably possible. Therefore, it is possible that an attorney can argue that you were seriously injured in the crash and unable to stop at the scene.
An attorney would need to show that you made a reasonable effort to fulfill your duties as soon as you were physically capable of doing so in order to use this defense strategy.
Another strategy involves the argument that the defendant did not realize he was involved in a crash. If the crash was minor–and the damage insignificant–it’s possible that the driver did not stop because he did not realize he made contact with another vehicle. Each case is unique, so it’s best to leave your defense strategy to an attorney who knows how to handle hit and run charges.
Can A Hit and Run Be Dismissed?
If the prosecution does not have a strong case, it’s possible that your attorney can persuade them to dismiss your charges. Your criminal attorney will determine if this is a possibility after reviewing the charges and the evidence compiled against you.
Hit and run charges could be reduced, too. If you are facing felony charges for leaving the scene of the accident, it’s possible that your attorney could negotiate to have them reduced to misdemeanor charges. This would allow you to avoid some of the serious legal penalties that come with a felony conviction.
Schedule A Free Case Evaluation With A Top Hit and Run Law Firm in Roanoke, VA
If you are being accused of a hit and run accident, contact the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC right away. Let our attorneys review the details of your charges and formulate an effective defense strategy so you can reach the best possible outcome in your case. To schedule a free consultation with our team, call (540) 384-4585 or fill out the brief form on our website.