Port Orchard Hit and Run Lawyer
It’s late, it’s been a long day, and you just want to get home. You’re driving along, dreaming of your bed, and then it happens. You’re not sure if you nicked another car, ran over someone else’s property, or tapped a person standing near the edge of the road.
In the blink of an eye, your life can change forever. We all make mistakes. Leaving the scene of an accident doesn’t automatically make you a bad person. However, justice is supposed to be blind, which means it’s vital that you get the opportunity to tell your side of the story. Our Washington hit and run lawyers will ensure you get treated fairly in court.
If you’ve been arrested for a hit and run crime in WA State, NEVER speak to anyone in law enforcement until you have a trusted attorney at your side who will ensure your legal rights are protected.Understanding Hit and Run Crimes in Washington State
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the nature of the charges against you and the penalties you may be facing. There are a number of reasons why someone may leave the scene of an accident. As humans, we have a natural fight or flight response to stressful situations. You may leave the scene of an accident, get home, and then realize that you made a grievous error in judgement. It’s natural to want to head to the police station and admit your mistake but doing so without a qualified Port Orchard hit and run lawyer representing your interests would be a big mistake.
Some of the most common reasons that someone leaves the scene include:
- Driving a vehicle without proper/valid registration
- Not having car insurance
- Not having legal citizenship status in the U.S.
- Driving on a suspended license
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Existing warrants out for the driver
Whatever the reason, It’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, but that you can protect your rights by consulting with a Port Orchard hit-and-run defense attorney. Our firm can help you answer common Hit & Run questions you may have, such as:
- Are there consequences for a hit & run in the state of Washington?
- Should you have left a note if no one is present?
- Is it still a crime if nobody was injured?
- Will I go to jail if convicted of a hit and run?
We attempt to answer as many of these questions as we can on this website, however, each case is unique. Even though our Port Orchard Hit & Run defense attorneys have tried scores of Hit & Run cases, each case requires a specialized defense tailored to your specific case details.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a Hit & Run in Kitsap County, you will need the help of an experienced Washington State criminal defense attorney. At our firm, we know that sometimes good people get in trouble. Our attorneys dedicate their energy and resources to helping clients overcome their hit-and-run charges and move forward with their lives. We offer a no-cost case evaluation so that we can get to know you and the details of your charges. Consulting with an attorney sooner rather than later gives you the best possible chance of overcoming these charges. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your rights.Hit & Run Charges Explained by a Kitsap County Criminal Defense Attorney
When you collide with another vehicle or another person’s property, Washington State law requires that you stop your vehicle as close to the scene of the accident as possible and notify the owner of the collision. If they are not immediately available, you must leave a written note in a conspicuous location.
Washington State Statute RCW 46.52.010 defines what, exactly must be in the note
“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to property fixed or placed upon or adjacent to any public highway shall take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of such property of such fact and of the name and address of the operator and owner of the vehicle striking such property, or shall leave in a conspicuous place upon the property struck a written notice, giving the name and address of the operator and of the owner of the vehicle so striking the property, and such person shall further make report of such accident as in the case of other accidents upon the public highways of this state.”
Failure to do so is considered a hit-and-run offense, which carries legal consequences.
The four levels of hit and run charges include:
Unattended hit and run - This is charged when you operate a vehicle and strike another car or property that is unattended and then leave the scene without providing identifying information in a conspicuous location. This is the lowest level of hit-and-run charges in Washington State.
Hit and run of an attended vehicle - This is charged when you operate a vehicle and strike another car that is occupied.
Injury-causing hit and run - This is charged when you operate a vehicle and hit another car that is occupied, resulting in injury to the occupant of the other vehicle. This charge is more serious than just a hit and run on an attended vehicle, and carries heavier punishments if convicted.
Hit and run that causes a fatality - This is charged when you operate a vehicle and hit another car, causing a fatality. This is the most serious hit and run charge in Washington, and carries heavy penalties if convicted.
An experienced Port Orchard criminal defense attorney can advise you more specifically of what you could be facing in your Hit and Run case and help you get the best possible resolution. Contact our firm today to begin your free case consultation. Allow us to help you achieve peace of mind during this confusing and stressful time.Penalties for Hit & Run Charges in Port Orchard
Criminal penalties for a hit-and-run accident can vary, depending upon the details of the accident, specifically which level of hit & run charges you have been charged with.
Unattended hit & run is a simple misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you are convicted on hit and run unattended charges, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will not automatically suspend or revoke your driver's license, but the conviction may increase your insurance premium. Misdemeanor trials are held in courts of limited jurisdiction, either the Port Orchard Municipal Court or the Kitsap County District Court. The location of your hearings is dependent upon a variety of factors, which a member of our team would be happy to explain to you during your free case consultation.
Hit and run of an attended vehicle is a gross misdemeanor criminal offense, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. If convicted of this charge, the DOL will automatically revoke your driver’s license for a period of 1 year.
A hit and run accident that causes harm to an occupant of the other vehicle is considered a class C felony. In Washington State, class C felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted of this charge, the DOL will automatically revoke your driver’s license for a period of 1 year.
A hit and run accident that causes a fatality will be charged as a class B felony, which carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, as well as an automatic license suspension or revoking. Felony cases are tried at the Kitsap County Superior Court.
Even though the penalties for hit and run in Washington are intense, there is hope for you! The best thing you can do for yourself when facing hit and run charges is to hire an experienced attorney to fight for your rights and freedoms. Our Port Orchard hit-and-run lawyers have over 50 years of experience handling cases similar to yours. The team is standing by the help you, so don’t delay, contact us today.How a Kitsap County Hit & Run Defense Lawyer Can Help You
The thought of possibly having to enter a courtroom or stand trial can be overwhelming. Whatever was happening at the scene of the accident, it’s in your best interests to get a qualified Hit & Run attorney right away. Someone who has the experience and knowledge to help you from start to finish.
Don't risk regretting your choice in legal representation for the rest of your life. Choose an attorney who will aggressively pursue your defense and do everything in their power to get you the best possible resolution for your criminal charges. You need to ensure that someone is advocating for you and telling your side of the story.