When you're facing hit and run charges, building a defense can be a challenge. Since some law enforcement agencies will automatically assign fault in an accident to a driver who flees the scene, you might think that you have no options. Here are some tips to help you defend yourself against hit and run charges.
Establishing a Reasonable Defense
In most situations, the only way to effectively defend yourself against a hit and run charge is to cast some degree of doubt that you were actually the one at the scene to begin with. If there's no physical evidence that you were there, this can be enough to have the charges dismissed.
If there is reasonable physical evidence proving that you were at the scene, you're going to have to convince the court that you weren't at fault. While this may not protect you from punishment for leaving the scene, it can reduce or prevent liability for the accident, which might even prevent you from facing further charges, like reckless driving.
Proving That You Weren't at Fault
The most effective way to prove that you weren't at fault for the accident is to hire a reconstruction professional. He or she can show that either you weren't responsible or the situation was created due to circumstances you could not control. This may be enough to reduce your liability or have the case dismissed in some situations.
To do this, the reconstruction specialist will examine the accident scene in detail. He or she will also go through any notes, pictures and other evidence collected at the time. With all of this information, the reconstruction specialist will recreate the events leading up to the accident and help determine what happened based on the angle of impact, the degree of the impact and other extenuating circumstances that could have affected the situation.
Proving that you weren't at fault may even keep you out of civil court. Sometimes, the victim will file a civil suit in an attempt to garner a financial settlement. If you can prove that you weren't responsible or weren't the one to leave the scene, your insurance company can use that information from your criminal defense attorney to help dismiss that claim, even if it goes to civil court.
Don't make any statements about an accident, especially one that you left the scene of, without consulting an attorney first. A criminal defense attorney specializing in hit and run charges is often your best investment to navigate situations like these. For more about this topic, read the rest of this blog.
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