A hit & run charge is a serious traffic offense that can carry many of the same penalties as more severe misdemeanors. Unlike basic traffic tickets, every conviction for leaving the scene of an accident carries at least a mandatory 120-day driver’s license suspension. Additionally, because someone alleged that you caused a car accident, the risk of civil liability exposure is high. These offenses often carry penalties far beyond a simple fine, and in a few cases, even call for jail time.
Regardless of whether you were arrested for leaving the scene of an accident or just received a citation, the consequences you face are severe. Furthermore, if you resolve the case incorrectly, the chances of fixing the problem are much lower. Prosecutors act harshly against people accused of leaving the scene of an accident due to their belief that the defendant did not take responsibility for their mistake. This is an area of law that demands skillful use of the legal process. Without a lawyer, you increase the odds of a negative outcome every day that you are unrepresented.
Besides causing license suspension, hit & run charges count as habitual violator offenses. A leaving the scene of an accident ticket is one of several charges that triggers this special consideration. If you receive three habitual violator convictions within a three-year period, your license will be revoked for five years. Unlike some other traffic offenses, a nolo contendere (no contest) plea will not save your license. Therefore, only an acquittal, a dismissal, or an amendment to the charge itself can save your license.
Civil Liability Exposure
Due to the fact that a hit & run citation requires there to be a traffic accident, anyone accused of leaving the scene of an accident is automatically at risk for civil liability. That means that you can be sued in addition to the criminal charges you are facing. Worse, your actions in trying to resolve the criminal matter may be used against you in a civil lawsuit. You need an expert to speak for you instead.
Hit & Run Attorneys Can Help
Don’t lose hope just yet. A traffic lawyer skilled in the area of hit & run can help you navigate your case and often avoid almost all of the serious consequences. Our attorneys know how to protect your driver’s license from suspension and prevent harsh consequences, such as jail time. Contact a lawyer at Lankford & Moore Law to discuss your options today.