Navigating Hit and Run Consequences: What to Do Next

Being involved in a hit and run incident can be a distressing experience with potentially severe legal consequences. Whether it was due to a moment of panic, confusion, or other circumstances, the aftermath of a hit and run requires careful navigation of the legal system. Here’s what you need to know if you find yourself facing hit and run charges in Washington State.

Understanding Hit and Run Charges

In Washington, hit and run charges are categorized based on the circumstances of the incident:

  1. Hit and Run Unattended: This occurs when a driver collides with an unattended vehicle or property and fails to stop or provide contact information. It is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  2. Hit and Run Attended: If the collision involves an attended or occupied vehicle, failing to stop and provide information to the other driver constitutes a gross misdemeanor. Penalties for this offense can include up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
  3. Hit and Run Property Damage: Similar to the unattended scenario, damaging someone else’s property and leaving the scene without providing necessary information is also considered a misdemeanor offense.
  4. Hit and Run Death or Injury: The most serious hit and run charge involves incidents resulting in injury or death. Fleeing the scene of such an accident can led to felony charges with penalties ranging from significant prison time to substantial fines.

If you’re involved in an accident, regardless of fault, it’s crucial to take certain steps to comply with the law and protect yourself:

  1. Stop Immediately: Always stop your vehicle as close to the scene of the accident as possible. Failing to do so can exacerbate legal consequences.
  2. Contact Authorities: Report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible. They will document the incident and facilitate necessary procedures.
  3. Provide Information: If you’ve damaged property or another vehicle, make a reasonable effort to locate the owner and provide your contact and insurance information. If you can’t find them, leave a note with your details in a conspicuous location.

Defending Against Hit and Run Charges

In some cases, individuals may not be aware that they were involved in an accident or mistakenly believe that they can’t be identified. However, ignorance is not a valid defense against hit and run charges. To navigate these charges effectively, it’s essential to seek legal representation.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys can explore various defense strategies tailored to the specifics of your case. These may include demonstrating lack of intent, proving mistaken identity, or negotiating a civil compromise to resolve the matter outside of court.

How We Can Help

At the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer, we understand the complexities of hit and run cases and the potential consequences they entail. Our dedicated team is committed to providing personalized legal guidance and aggressive representation to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

If you’re facing hit and run charges in Washington State, don’t face them alone. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate this challenging legal process.

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Charged with Hit and Run? Learn What Comes Next!

If you’re facing hit and run charges in Washington, it’s crucial to understand the legal consequences and your rights. Our latest blog post breaks down the different types of hit and run charges and their potential consequences. Don’t face this alone – our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. #HitAndRun #LegalDefense #WashingtonLaw