Reckless Driving Lawyer Arlington VA
Hit & Run Charge in Virginia
If you or a loved one have received a Hit and Run charge in Virginia, you need to determine if your Hit and Run charge is the type that requires the services of an attorney. A Hit and Run charge can be minor, thus not requiring a lawyer, or so serious that a person should definitely hire a Hit and Run or Reckless Driving Lawyer Arlington VA trusts.
The charge of Hit and Run is really the charge of “Duty of Driver to Stop in the Event of an Accident.” The penalties vary greatly on this charge. It can be as small as a Class 4 Misdemeanor which is only a minor fine and -3 DMV Demerit points up to a 10 years in prison and a $2500 fine as a Class 5 felony. Anything over $500 in damage or involving personal injury has the possibility of a 6-month loss of license.
The elements of Hit and Run is basically where the Defendant (the driver) is involved in an accident where there is any injury to a person or any property damage and fails to give identifying information. The penalties increase depending upon the amount of property damage or whether there was personal injury.
There are two different Hit and Run code sections – (1) Unattended Property or (2) Attended Property / Personal Injury.
For Unattended Property, if the Defendant is involved in an accident, his duty is to make a reasonable effort to find the owner of the property and give certain information. If the owner cannot reasonably be found, then the Defendant must leave a note “… in a conspicuous place at the scene of the accident, and shall report the accident in writing within 24 hours to the State Police or the local law-enforcement agency.” The Code states that the following information must be given: (a) name, (b) address, (c) driver’s license number, and (d) vehicle registration number. If the damage is less than $250 then the penalty is just a Class 4 Misdemeanor. This is the smallest offense in the Code of Virginia and will usually just result in a minor fine, and therefore, a Reckless Driving Lawyer Arlington is probably not needed. However, for any Hit and Run resulting in property damage greater than $250, then hiring a Hit and Run lawyer or a Reckless Driving lawyer is smart. Why? Because at damages over $250, a criminal record and jail / prison is on the line! (Over $250 the charge of Hit and Run is a Class 1 Misdemeanor – up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.) And if the damage is greater than $500, a 6 month loss of license is possible. At this point, most people will want to hire a Hit and Run or Reckless Driving Lawyer.
For attended property damage at $1000 or more, or where a person is injured, the charge is a Felony! If this happens, like with unattended property, the Defendant needs leave his information (see the required information listed above). In addition, certain acts are required. The Defendant must stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible and provide “…reasonable assistance to any person injured in such accident, including taking such injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital if it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.” The penalties for failing to stop and give his information and property damage less than $1000, then it is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (up to one year in jail and up to a $2500 fine). But if damage is greater than $1000, or if there is personal injury, there is a harsh Class 5 Felony (up to a $2,500 fine and 0-10 years in prison). With jail and a criminal record on the line, hiring a Hit and Run or Reckless Driving Lawyer Arlington VA trusts like Bate Law is paramount.
For any Hit and Run where damage is greater than $500 or where there is personal injury, the possible license suspension should be of great concern. That is because on a Hit & Run suspension, there is no ability to get a restricted license to go to and from work, school or child care, etc. It is an outright suspension, which means you will be walking for up to 6 months. Thus, if a license is important to you, you should have a Hit and Run or Reckless Driving Lawyer Arlington VA on your side.