Left the Scene of an Accident in Virginia? You May Be Looking at Substantial Jail Time.
Virginia—and every other state in the union, for that matter—legally obligates the driver of a motor vehicle to stop after being involved in an accident, and either exchange insurance information with the other driver or await the arrival of police (or both). Failure to stop after an accident will invariably be charged as a hit-and-run accident, which can be a relatively small misdemeanor (if a minor amount of property damage is involved) or a major felony (if there are any deaths or injuries). In either case, you need to consult an experienced Virginia hit-and-run attorney from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC right away.
A Hit and Run Can Escalate a Minor Traffic Accident Into a Major Crime
As a general rule, the Virginia police—not to mention other motorists—don't look kindly on individuals who wreak damage with their vehicles and then flee the scene. There are basically three kinds of “hit-and-run,” as this offense is called:
The motorist hits an unoccupied vehicle or a piece of property (e.g., a fence, a mailbox, or a house) and flees, thinking that no one has seen him. If this driver is eventually caught, the charges leveled against him will depend on the dollar value of the damage he caused. If the damages exceed $1,000, the crime can be prosecuted as a felony.
The driver is involved in an accident involving another moving vehicle and flees the scene before the police are summoned or before exchanging information with the driver of the other vehicle. If the accident results in any injuries or death, a hit-and-run charge can be extremely serious, resulting in years of prison time.
The motorist runs down a pedestrian (or group of pedestrians), panics, and drives away without stopping. This is the most serious type of hit-and-run, which is usually prosecuted as vehicular homicide in Virginia.
If You Have Been Charged With Hit and Run, You Need to Hire an Experienced Lawyer
A hit-and-run charge in Virginia is not to be taken lightly: In the eyes of the authorities, you have already demonstrated your irresponsibility (or even your criminal intent), and if the incident has resulted in serious injuries or deaths you can be looking at decades of prison time.
At the law firm of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC, we will aggressively defend you against the state's hit-and-run charges and bring to light any exculpatory evidence or information, with the aim of securing the best possible outcome to your case. Call 888-783-9701 today for a free consultation.