A hit and run offense occurs when someone has left the scene of an accident without rendering aid or leaving identifying information behind. There is a very wide range of consequences possible depending on the value of the property involved, and if the property was attended. An experienced attorney is very important in these cases because judges take them very seriously. A hit and run charge could be classified as a felony and hiring an attorney at the beginning can help an individual receive the strongest defense possible for their case.
When going to court, it is important to understand that Newport News judges take hit and run charges extremely seriously. Virginia does not consider car accidents as crimes because they are often unavoidable. However, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident without trying to make up for the fact that it occurred. Leaving the scene without leaving identifying information or getting injured people medical attention is a purposeful action by the defendant, and many judges deem them to be the highest caliber of offenses. An individual can expect that a judge is not going to be very lenient in court unless there was a very good excuse for leaving the scene.
The penalties for a hit and run depend on a few factors, mainly the amount of damage and whether the affected vehicle or property was attended or not. The penalties can range from a Class 4 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $25 fine, to a Class 6 felony, which means that the penalties can range from include a fine or as much as a few years in prison.
A Newport News hit and run charge differs from other traffic charges because it can lead to more than one court case if the affected party decides to sue the defendant on top of the criminal charges. This can be extremely inconvenient and cause a lot of hardships for the defendant.
If the plaintiff decides to pursues a civil case while a criminal case is underway, the civil case is typically put on hold while the criminal case is being prosecuted. A conviction in an individual’s criminal hit and run case can be used as evidence in their civil case. Conviction in the criminal case is very strong evidence of liability and can lead to a faster resolution of the civil suit.The plaintiff of a civil case will probably recover punitive damages and may also be entitled to compensation.
An attorney can help negotiate a favorable outcome. During an initial consultation, a Newport News hit and run lawyer will cover the consequences of a hit and run that are specific to the facts of an individual’s case. This is particularly important in felony hit and run cases because a felony conviction has huge consequences on an individual’s life and future opportunities. An experienced and aggressive attorney can help you navigate the court system and prepare a strong defense for court.
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