Your doctor’s appointment starts at 3:00 and guess what? You’re already running late! Rushing out to your car, your thoughts are a million miles away as you calculate traffic time, ponder which streets will provide the fastest route, and think of good excuses to tell the unamused receptionist.
As you leap into your car and throw it into reverse, you hear it…the unforgettable sounds of metal scraping on metal. You’re afraid to turn your head but when you do, you see it—a scratch the size of the Grand Canyon on your neighbor’s car.
Now, you have two options: either leave a note with your contact information and file a police report or put the pedal to the metal and drive off.
You quickly do a 360 and there isn’t a soul in sight… “I’m already late and no one saw…is it really a big deal?” You take your chances and speed out the exit gate—your doctor’s appointment awaits.
Unlucky for you, your apartment complex has cameras that captured the whole thing…now what?
Join Bryan Coulter, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana, as he details what a hit and run accident is and what it can mean for you.
What Is Classified as a Hit and Run?
A hit and run is any incident that involves a vehicle hitting another car, object, or person with the driver knowingly leaving the scene without providing any contact information.
If you do strike a vehicle or object but leave your contact information and file a police report, it will not be classified as a hit and run.
What Are the Punishments for a Hit and Run?
If you do leave the scene of an accident in Lafayette, Indiana without contacting the police or leaving your contact information, legal ramifications can ensue.
Class B Misdemeanor: This charge is automatically given if you leave the scene of an accident.
Class A Misdemeanor: This charge is given if bodily injury occurs, and it generally carries up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
Level 6 Felony: This charge is given if serious bodily harm has occurred or the defendant had a similar charge within the past five years. This charge carries prison time of up to three years and up to a $10,000 fine.
Level 5 Felony: This charge is given if a fatality occurs. This charge carries five to twenty years in prison and fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Other possible consequences include: civil lawsuits, increases in insurance coverage, penalties from the state department of motor vehicles, and more.
What Are Possible Defenses to a Hit and Run Charge?
Though it can be hard to defend a case of hit and run, criminal defense attorneys in Lafayette, Indiana use many of these common defenses.
- No damage occurred: If you struck a vehicle, yet no damage occurred, your case could be dismissed.
- Unaware of the incident: Though you will be held liable for damages, your hit and run charge could potentially be dismissed if you’re proven unaware of the incident.
- Stolen Vehicle: If your vehicle was reported stolen before the hit and run incident, you could be excused of all charges.
- Emergency: You could be dismissed of hit and run charges if you were en route to a hospital for a medical emergency.
The above scenarios are just some of the defenses that could be used in a hit and run case.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Lafayette, Indiana
If you or someone you know has been accused of committing a hit and run incident, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense attorneys can review your case, construct a strategic defense, mitigate punishments, and provide you with counsel throughout the whole case.
For help with your hit and run case, contact Coulter Law Office in Lafayette, Indiana. Bryan Coulter is a criminal defense attorney with over a decade of experience! Call (765) 423-2888 for help with your case!