Virginia Hit and Run Lawyer
In Virginia, hit and run is a serious charge which involves someone failing to report specific information after an accident and instead fleeing the scene. If you are charged with hit and run you face the possibility of license suspension and revocation in addition to numerous criminal penalties such as fines and jail time. For this reason, it is important you consult with a Virginia traffic lawyer who can take you through the process of your case and help build you the strongest possible defense based on the circumstances.
To learn more about these charges read below before calling and scheduling a consultation with a Virginia hit and run lawyer today.
Level of Offense in Virginia
It depends on the specific circumstances. An unattended vehicle with property damage less than $250 results in a class 4 misdemeanor for the driver and passenger. An unattended vehicle and $250 or more in property damage is a class 1 misdemeanor for the driver and the passenger.
An unattended vehicle with any property damage is a class 1 misdemeanor for the passenger.
If someone was injured or there was more than $1,000 in damages, then it becomes a class 5 felony for the driver and a class 6 felony for the passenger. Class 5 felonies are punishable by up to ten years in prison and class 6 felonies are punishable by imprisonment of up to five years both of which make it important that a Virginia hit and run attorney is consulted.
Furthermore, if you’re convicted as either a driver or a passenger in a hit and run accident of an unattended or an attended vehicle resulting in property damage exceeding $500, the court can also suspend your driver’s license up to six months. If you’re convicted as a driver not the passenger of a vehicle in an accident causing injury or death and you fail to stop and disclose your identity at the scene, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license for a year. If you’re convicted four times for hit and run of an unattended vehicle either as a driver or passenger, the court can revoke your driver’s license for five years.
Common Scenarios Where Hit and Run is Charged
Hit and run by itself is not a common offense in Virginia, most of the time these cases are charged in conjunction with another offense. Most commonly, there is a DUI charge where someone hit a car or property owned by another while they were under the influence while driving.
Are Hit and Runs Prosecuted By Commonwealths Attorneys?
It depends on the jurisdiction. In some places, prosecutors handle all traffic cases. In others, the court deals directly with the police officer. If the prosecution gets a hold of the case, you can expect them to take it very seriously, which makes it important to consult with a Virginia hit and run attorney.
What To Expect From a Hit and Run Case in Virginia
The case will be handled just as any other criminal case would be. The officer will give a report of what happened and call any witnesses that saw the defendant leave the scene of the incident. The defendant’s attorney may then cross-examine the officer as well as the witnesses and the defendant will also be able to make their own statement if they would like.
Someone can expect to be asked to offer an explanation as to why they failed to stop or report the incident and if the explanation isn’t satisfactory, then they can expect a lecture from the judge about their duties as a driver. Then, depending on the severity of the incident, someone can expect varying degrees of consequences.
How a Virginia Hit and Run Lawyer Can Help
A Virginia hit and run lawyer can help you to fight to keep your driver’s license from being suspended. An attorney can also help minimize the penalties you’re facing by arguing to have the fines reduced or to have any potential jail sentence reduced or avoided altogether.
It is important to have an attorney on your side so that you understand what your rights are and what you are facing before you walk into a courtroom. An attorney can help you build a strong defense and can offer an explanation to the court to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your hit and run case.