3 Examples Of Strategies Defense Lawyers Use In Hit & Run Cases
You've been charged with leaving the scene of an accident you caused in which someone was injured. Conviction can lead to substantial penalties. It may seem as though you can only avoid the worst consequences by accepting a plea bargain deal from the prosecuting attorney. However, a criminal defense lawyer knows the strategies to effectively defend clients against these charges.
Hit & Run Charges
Legally known as leaving the scene of an accident, hit-and-run is taken seriously by the court system. A collision that only causes property damages and no injuries usually is classified as a misdemeanor. Typically, if someone was injured or killed and you fled the scene, that is considered a felony.
If this describes your situation, hiring an experienced lawyer is imperative. You could face jail time, a hefty fine and a long license revocation if convicted. Your automotive insurance rates will most assuredly go up as well -- that is, if the company doesn't cancel your policy altogether.
Some Defense Strategies in Felony Hit & Run Cases
The prosecuting attorney must prove that you realized, or had good reason to believe, that someone was hurt in the collision. A defense lawyer works to show this was not what happened. If the prosecution cannot prove this aspect of its case, this may reduce the charges against you.
An example of this situation might involve a fender-bender that did not cause a great deal of property damage, leading the driver to think nobody could have been injured. However, whiplash is an injury that often occurs even in relatively minor accidents, and the symptoms may not appear for days.
Another strategy involves extenuating circumstances. If you had recently experienced some life problems that affected your mental health, this might be considered a factor that affected your judgment. For instance, if a death in the family had recently occurred, your spouse filed for divorce or you lost your job, those could be considered mental health issues.
If you have never been in trouble with the law before, the lawyer will use that to your advantage as well. This means you've never had a conviction for a previous hit-and-run, driving under the influence or other illegal behavior.
What Can You Do Now?
Contact a defense lawyer like Craig H. Lane, PC for a free consultation. Explain what happened in the accident and why you left the scene. If you decide to hire this attorney, the two of you will work together to build the most effective case so you can receive the lowest penalties possible and avoid incarceration.