Building a DC Hit and Run Defense

One type of hit and run involves a collision when there is property damage, and the other occurs when one party becomes injured. District law establishes that all motorists have a duty to stop if they get involved in a collision with another driver. If they fail to stop or contact emergency personnel when there is damage to another person or vehicle, then this person is in violation of this law. When building a DC hit and run defense, a skilled attorney takes this information into account and determines how it may apply to a certain accident.

Misdemeanor and Felony Hit and Run Charges

Most hit and runs in DC are misdemeanors, regardless of the number of offenses that an individual has. However, if the accused committed additional offenses leading up to the accident, then they could receive more charges that result in a felony hit and run.

For example, if the court determines that the defendant intentionally struck another person, this could be attempted murder, which would be a felony assault charge in addition to a misdemeanor hit and run charge itself.

Steps to Creating a Defense

When preparing a defense for a hit and run in DC, one of the first steps a lawyer takes is reviewing the specific allegations and determining whether or not the defendant stopped at all. Then, a lawyer tries to establish if the defendant attempted to communicate or provide information at all with the other driver to provide information.

Once a defense attorney assesses the specifics of the accident, they may begin collecting evidence. They look for evidence that verifies the identity of the defendant as the driver and documents the collision. If they cannot find any information that proves that the defendant was the driver that caused the accident, the lawyer may use this as the basis of their defense strategy.

Sometimes, a prosecutor may be able to gather witness statements from the driver and any passengers in the vehicle. However, if there is no surveillance or video footage, or documentation of the damage or the injury, it may be more difficult for the prosecutor to prove that the defendant was the one who fled the scene. Sometimes, there may only be a vague vehicle description.

Expert Witnesses

One type of expert a DC defense attorney may consider hiring to build a hit and run case would be a traffic accident reconstructionist. These experts sometimes work as insurance adjusters or estimators and may be able to help determine what led to a collision.

One of the elements of a hit and run charge is that the accused driver must have known or have good reason to have known that there was an accident. If the wreck is a head-on collision, a T-bone accident, or a fender-bender, usually, the driver is going to know or should know that a crash occurred.

Other times, if somebody hits another motorist when there is a significant amount of traffic, they may not realize it. An accident reconstructionist could extrapolate from the evidence more information about the collision, which could support a defense that the defendant did not know that they caused a collision.

In other cases, an attorney may reach out to a medical professional if they believe that the accused driver had an existing condition or a medical episode that caused them to lose control of their vehicle or their ability to drive. Therefore, they may not have been able to remain at the scene because they needed to seek immediate medical care.

Contact an Attorney for Help Preparing a Hit and Run Defense in DC

Law enforcement takes instances of hit and run accidents extremely serious. As such, if you have been accused of fleeing the scene of an accident, it is crucial to hire a lawyer who could fight in your defense. For help building a DC hit and run defense, call today.

Washington DC Hit and Run Lawyer