Hit And Run/Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
If you have been accused of hit and run, also known as leaving the scene of an accident, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Denver area or anywhere in Colorado, hit and run occurs when a person is involved in an accident that results in property damage to a vehicle and does not remain at the accident scene to exchange identifying information or otherwise report the accident to authorities. Hit and run is a misdemeanor, but may be charged as a felony when an accident results in serious bodily injury or death.
Possible Consequences Of Hit And Run
Hit and run resulting in death is a class 3 felony and carries the following possible consequences: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days or a prison sentence of four to 12 years and as much as 24 years where the court finds exceptional circumstances, plus a mandatory parole period of five years.
A conviction for hit and run also results in a revocation of driver’s license privileges.
Possible Defenses For Hit And Run
Many times, people do not realize that they actually struck another vehicle (i.e., when they were backing out of a parking space), or they believe that there was no real damage and they assumed they were being “waved by” to keep driving by the other vehicle. This sometimes occurs when there is a slight rear-end tap and the other vehicle drives on for a short way and then makes a right turn. The driver in the vehicle behind may believe “no harm no foul” and keep driving. These cases also include minor accidents that occur late at night in a bad area of town and people are afraid that they are being “set up” for some type of robbery or carjacking. Sometimes people are worried that the situation will develop into road rage, and this is why they leave the scene.
Sometimes a felony case arises from striking a pedestrian and leaving the scene. Many times people do not realize that they actually stuck a person. They may believe that they struck an animal or that somebody threw something at their vehicle. When this occurs, they are often hesitant to stop because they think they are either under attack or they are being set up for some type of robbery or carjacking. It is important to conduct a proper accident reconstruction and thoroughly interview all vital witnesses in the case.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a hit-and-run case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced hit-and-run lawyer to defend you in a leaving the scene of an accident case in Morrison or Jefferson County or across Colorado.