Sumner Hit and Run
Hundreds of accidents per year happen on the road in Pierce County. If you turn on the television at all, you know from countless advertisements that drivers are encouraged to hire a lawyer to collect money from the at-fault driver and his or her insurance. Above and beyond any criminal penalties you may face for a hit and run, civil suits can ruin your financial future.
So if you or a loved one has been involved in a hit and run, you may have been scared of the consequences like you saw on tv, or you may have been in shock, or maybe you didn’t even realize the damage that was done. Whatever the circumstances, if you are suspected or have been arrested for a hit and run in Pierce County, you need a Sumner criminal defense attorney.
We understand the anger, frustration, and confusion you may be feeling. You probably have questions, such as
- Do I need a lawyer after a hit and run accident in Pierce County?
- What are the penalties for a hit and run in Sumner?
- Should I call the police if I’ve been involved in a hit and run in Washington?
- Will my car be impounded if I’ve been charged with hit and run in Sumner?
With years of experience handling hit and run cases in Sumner and through-out Pierce County, our Sumner criminal defense attorneys can answer all of your hit and run questions. Our team is committed to using our knowledge and experience to be the best defense available for our clients who have made a mistake and need help to deal with it.Pierce County Hit and Run Laws Explained by a Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney
When someone is involved in a hit and run car accident and then flees the scene, it is a crime in the state of Washington, even if they are not responsible for the accident. Per state law, individuals operating a motor vehicle have a legal obligation to stop and take certain actions depending on what or who was damaged during the accident. Failure to do so can lead to serious criminal and civil charges, with those convicted facing hefty fines, license suspension or revocation, and possible jail time.
Listed below are the four types of hit and run violations charged under Washington state law.
- Unattended hit and run -This is the lowest level of hit-and-run charges in Washington State. State Statute RCW 46.52.010 states “(1) The operator of any vehicle which collided with any other vehicle which is unattended shall immediately stop and shall then and there either locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle of the name and address of the operator and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or shall leave in a conspicuous place in the vehicle struck a written notice, giving the name and address of the operator and of the owner of the vehicle striking such other vehicle.”
- Hit and run of an attended vehicle- This is charged when you operate a vehicle and strike another car that is occupied. It does not matter if the person occupying the car is uninjured, you will still be charged with Hit & Run of an attended vehicle.
- 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 a step above 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.
Washington state hit-and-run case law is undeniably complicated, but there are knowledgeable attorneys available to help you understand every aspect of your charge. Contact our Sumner criminal defense lawyers for more information about hit-and-run charges in Pierce County.Penalties for a Hit and Run Charge in Sumner
Washington state law requires drivers to remain at the scene of an incident and share their insurance information with the other driver. Failing to do so can have serious ramifications. Listed below are the possible penalties for a hit & run conviction, starting with the least serious charge up to the charge with the harshest sentencing.
Unattended Hit and Run is a simple misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
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.
Misdemeanor cases are held in courts of limited jurisdiction, so if you have been charged with either Unattended Hit & Run or Hit and Run of an Attended vehicle, you may have to appear in either the Bonney Lake Municipal Court, which serves as the Municipal Court for the cities of Bonney Lake, Sumner, Eatonville, and South Prairie, or the Pierce County District Court, which is located in Tacoma. The location of your court appearance is dependent upon where in Pierce County your hit and run accident took place.
An Injury Causing Hit and Run 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. In addition, if convicted of this charge, the DOL will automatically revoke your driver’s license for a period of 1 year.
A Fatality Causing Hit and Run is 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.
All felony cases are the sole purview of Superior Courts. If you have been charged with either an Injury Causing Hit and Run or a Fatality Causing Hit and Run, you will have to appear at the Pierce County Superior Court, which is also located in downtown Tacoma.
Local law enforcement and the criminal justice system deal with hit-and-run offenses harshly in Pierce County. You could be facing serious penalties which could impact your liberty and your future. By getting the representation of a Sumner criminal defense attorney, you will significantly improve your chances of retaining your freedom and avoiding severe punishment.How a Sumner Hit and Run Defense Attorney Can Help You Fight Your Charge
This is not a charge you should face on your own. Hit and run is a serious allegation and you need an attorney who has the skill and reputation in criminal defense that you can trust.
A hit and run accident case can result in severe penalties and obligations in Pierce County. To protect yourself, work with our Sumner criminal defense attorneys. With over 50 combined years of experience working with criminal charges in Pierce County, our team of legal professionals understand the process and can work diligently towards the most favorable outcome for your case. Contact our firm today for a free case consultation.