Hit and Run in Bremerton
When a driver flees after being involved in an accident it is called a hit and run. This is a serious offense in the state of Washington. The law also refers to this crime as “leaving the scene of an accident.” If you leave the scene of an accident without providing your identification, or without offering help and assistance to a person in need, you could be charged with a hit and run. It doesn’t matter if the accident involves a stationary object such as a building, another vehicle, a cyclist or a pedestrian.
Not everyone is aware that you can be charged with a hit and run even if the accident wasn’t your fault. No matter how it happens, law officers, prosecuting attorneys, and the courts take hit and run accusations very seriously. Hit and runs are complex legal matters that can have many complications, and being convicted of a hit and run can have devastating consequences. Our Bremerton hit and run attorneys understand what's at stake and want to help you achieve the best possible outcome.Penalties for Hit and Run Crimes
There are two types of hit and runs; attended and unattended. Attended, the more serious charge, is when another person is involved. Hit and run crimes have both misdemeanor and felony classifications, though felony hit and runs are usually reserved for drivers who leave an accident where a serious injury has occurred.
An unattended hit and run is when a driver collides with a parked vehicle or property such as a fence, a building, or landscaping. It matters not if the accident occurred on public or private property. When an automobile knowingly strikes another vehicle or property the driver must leave written notice with their contact information in an obvious place. If they fail to do so they could be charged with an unattended hit and run. These types of hit and runs are classified as a simple misdemeanor offense. They are punishable by up to 90 days of jail time and $1,000 in fines.
An attended hit and run is when a driver leaves the scene of an accident where a pedestrian or occupied vehicle was involved. After an accident, it is the driver’s duty to stop, exchange information, remain at the scene and render aid if needed. If the driver fails to do so they could be charged with an attended hit and run. These types of hit and runs are classified as gross misdemeanors. They are punishable by up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines and a one-year drivers license suspension.
Felony hit and run cases are heard in the Kitsap County Superior Court, while misdemeanor hit and run is heard in the Kitsap County District Court. Both are located in Port Orchard.More Information from our Kitsap County Hit and Run Lawyers
If the attended hit and run results in an injury or death, you could be charged with an attended hit and run felony. This is a very serious criminal offense with potentially severe consequences. In Washington State, it is law that a driver involved in an accident must remain at the scene and offer reasonable assistance to anyone who has been injured, even if the accident was not their fault. Failure to do so could result in a felony hit and run.
If a person was injured in the hit and run accident, you could be charged with a Class C felony. This hit and run charge is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines totaling $10,000. If a person dies as a result of the hit and run accident, you could be charged with a Class B felony. This charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines totaling $20,000. Both of these felony charges are also accompanied by a one-year drivers license suspension.
Sometimes other charges accompany hit and run charges, which could complicate your case even more. If any of the aforementioned information applies to you, you should contact one of our experienced Bremerton hit and run lawyers today.Our Qualified Washington State Hit and Run Attorneys can Give You all the Facts
Consultations are free with our WA State hit and run lawyers, so if you or a loved one are facing a hit and run charge, please contact us today. We highly recommend you retain an attorney before you speak with any law enforcement officers. Make certain you are protected by asserting your civil rights, as anything you say could be used against you by the prosecution.
Accidents happen everyday and can happen to any driver at any time. Sometimes drivers are unaware of the laws pertaining to hit and run, and they end up leaving the scene of the accident. Accidents are also stressful and chaotic and it’s only human nature to want to flee these hectic situations. A person's “fight or flight” response may kick in after an accident, making them do something totally out of character. Unfortunately, that can lead to horrible consequences for the driver. Many motorists who later realize their mistake want to go to the police to make it right. But is imperative they talk to a lawyer first to ensure that their Constitutional rights are protected from zealous law enforcement officers..
Contact us today for your free consultation and let our Bremerton hit and run lawyers help you take the next step. With more than 50 years of collective experience handling hit and run cases in Kitsap County, we are uniquely poised to offer you reliable legal counsel.