In Washington State the law dictates that drivers involved in any kind of road traffic accident that causes injury to a person or damage to someone else’s vehicle or property must stop immediately at the incident scene. If it is not possible to stop at the scene without causing further problems, then stopping nearby is acceptable. The only mitigating circumstances which negate these laws are those which have rendered the driver incapacitated. Following such traffic incidences all drivers are obliged to fulfill certain disclosure and assistance requirements. It is therefore imperative that they remain at the site of the incident until these things have been attended to.
Perhaps one of the most commonly held but wrong beliefs when it comes to hit and run situations is that the driver is not obliged to stop if they hit an unoccupied vehicle. Ask any Seattle DUI lawyer and they will tell you this is simply not true. If a driver hits an unoccupied vehicle, he or she is still legally required to adhere to the legal guidelines set out above. Failure to stop at the scene in such circumstances does constitute a Hit and Run and the driver may faces charges of Misdemeanor.
There are four clearly outline aspects to how Hit and Run is classified and each carries with its own penalty. Your Washington DUI Attorney will be able to advise you in more detail about this, but in short the basics are as follows:
1. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes the death of another may be classified as a Class B Felony
2. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes injury to another person may be classified as a Class C Felony.
3. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes damage to an occupied vehicle may be classified as a Class D Felony.
4. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes damage to an unoccupied vehicle or any property belonging to another may be classified as a Class D Felony.
Revoking of driver’s licenses is also a possible penalty if a driver fails to stop and comply.
The Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers of SQ Attorneys is a highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced team dedicated to providing aggressive representation for those charged with Hit and Run. The team creates success by not only working with alleged victims to develop a relationship and encourage positive communication, but the team also works with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the Hit and Run allegations are considered in creating the most equitable and fair resolution possible.