Hit And Run
Although many tickets for traffic violations are minor, some are serious, and charges for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident can be among the most serious. If you’ve been charged with a hit and run resulting in injury to an individual, it’s important to contact a Lansing hit and run lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your options.
This violation is not a civil infraction but is a misdemeanor offense, which means it is a criminal act. If you are found guilty of this misdemeanor crime, your driving record, criminal history and future could be seriously impacted.
According to Section 257.617a of the Michigan Vehicle Code, “the driver of a vehicle who knows or has reason to believe that he has been involved in an accident…shall immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident.” After stopping, the driver has the duty to give his or her name and address and vehicle registration number to a police officer or the individual struck. He or she must also exhibit his or her driver’s license, and render reasonable aid and or transportation to any injured party.
Those found guilty of violating this section could face a misdemeanor conviction, up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and automatic license suspension.
Other Possible Consequences
In addition to costly fines, driver’s license sanctions and jail time, people found guilty of violating this section face a variety of other possible consequences including:
- Lifelong Blemish on Background Checks – Currently, driving offenses are ineligible for expungement from your Michigan criminal history. This means that if you are found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident, the offense will stay on your criminal record for life, even if it is your one and only violation. This could impact your ability to pass a background check for a number of opportunities including opportunities for employment, higher education and obtaining a professional license.
- Inflated Insurance Premiums – Most traffic violations will affect your insurance rates, especially serious criminal traffic violations like leaving the scene of an accident. If you are found guilty of this offense, you should expect to pay higher insurance premiums for years to come.
- Job Loss – Are you currently employed in a position where driving is a fundamental responsibility of your job? Depending on your employer and his or her policies regarding criminal records and serious driving-related offenses, your job could be at risk.
- Damage to your Reputation – Your good name is an invaluable asset. Being found guilty of any crime, especially one that casts you as an irresponsible person with disregard for the safety of others, could damage your character in the eyes of family, friends, neighbors and present and future employers.
How A Lansing Hit And Run Lawyer Can Help
Every case is different, but your lawyer may explore a number of possible defenses on your behalf including:
- You didn’t know or have reason to know – It’s possible to collide with another vehicle and simply not know, or have reason to know, that it happened. If traffic, weather or other conditions were such that they obscured the fact that an accident occurred at all, causing you to innocently leave the scene of one, your lawyer may be able to help you build a defense. She will talk to you, the injured party any other available witnesses, and collect any other possible evidence in order to help build your case.
- You did stop – Perhaps you did stop and attempt to perform your duty under the law, but some circumstance out of your control made it impossible or dangerous for you to do so. Your lawyer will collect any available evidence and witness testimony to help verify your story and build your defense.
- You didn’t do it – Hit and runs present a lot of opportunities for mistakes. Accidents happen quickly and unexpectedly. Injured parties and other witnesses may be stressed, unfocused or otherwise uncertain about what they saw. Bad weather, low visibility and heavy or fast-moving traffic only contributes to possible confusion. If you were simply in no way involved in the alleged hit and run accident, your lawyer will work diligently to collect evidence to support your claim and build your defense.
Talk To A Lansing Hit And Run Attorney Today
These are just a few of the many possible ways that your Lansing hit-and-run attorney may help you build a defense against an alleged violation. Don’t risk your freedom or your future by having a leaving the scene of an accident violation on your record, contact a skilled Lansing traffic violations lawyer. Call DeBruin Law, PLLC at 517-731-0353 to learn more.