Virginia Beach Hit-and-Run Defense Lawyer
Our Team Is On Your Side!
When you are involved in a car accident, the adrenaline and confusion of the situation can make you act in a way you wouldn’t under normal circumstances. Everyone reacts to emergency situations differently, some panic and feel the need to leave the issue behind in order to think clearly. Unfortunately, when these types of reactions lead to a hit-and-run incident, the repercussions can be extremely serious.
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, our firm understands the problems you are up against. We are dedicated to providing honest, knowledgeable legal guidance for our clients and we can use our experience work towards a favorable outcome for your case.
Call (757) 267-4949 to schedule a consultation with our firm!
Defining a Hit-and-Run Accident
An accident is deemed a hit-and-run not by how the incident occurred, but how the driver responds afterward. Typically hit-and-run accidents occur between drivers, though they can involve pedestrians, bicyclists, or stationary objects and vehicles. If a driver flees the scene of an accident without providing any information about his or her identity or offering assistance to any injured parties, he or she is considered a hit-and-run driver.
By law, every driver has a responsibility to exhibit certain care while driving, especially if another person on the road is injured. If a driver is in any way involved in an accident, whether he or she was at fault or not, it is that driver’s responsibility to stop and lend assistance. Failing to do so could result in serious legal consequences.
A hit-and-run driver may face a variety of legal consequences depending on what type of accident occurred, if there were any injuries, and whether or not there was significant property damage. If nobody was injured, the crime will most likely be considered a misdemeanor and could carry a jail sentence of up to 6 months and up to $1,000 in fines.
If one of the people involved in the hit-and-run accident was seriously injured, the hit-and-run driver may face felony charges. A felony conviction for a hit-and-run accident can result in up to 4 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The driver may also face serious penalties from the department of motor vehicles, including driver’s license suspension or worse.
Vehicular Manslaughter for Hit-and-Run Accident
In the event that a hit-and-run accident results in a person’s death, the hit-and-run driver could face charges of involuntary manslaughter. If a driver flees the scene after an accident, even when the accident was not their fault, the driver fails to exhibit the necessary care required of the situation.
When someone is killed, the witnesses to the death are required to call the police, even if it was not their fault. So, a hit-and-run driver could face involuntary manslaughter charges, which may result in up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
The Passenger’s Responsibility
According to Virginia law, a passenger can be charged with failing to report a motor vehicle accident. Legally, passengers have 24 hours to report an accident or incident to the state police or local law enforcement officials. Once this deadline passes, a passenger may be deemed complicit in the crime.
A passenger may face a misdemeanor or felony conviction if:
- The driver leaves the scene and doesn’t make an accident report
- The passenger is over 16 years old
- The passenger knows the accident happened
- The accident led to injuries, fatalities, or property damage
The legal consequences of failing to report a hit and run incident depends entirely upon the level of property damage and whether a victim was injured or killed as a result of the accident. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, a passenger could face jail time, exorbitant fines, and a criminal record if convicted in a court of law.
Contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller
If you are facing hit-and-run charges, our experienced firm may be able to help. Our founding attorney, Dan Miller, has been recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers and is active in many professional associations in the Virginia area. Our criminal defense firm in Virginia Beach has the experience and skills you need to fight for your rights and protect your future.
Contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller to get started today.
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Defective Equipment and Driving on Revoked License Traffic Violations
Our client was stopped for a defective taillight. The officer noted that the client’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle had been suspended based upon a prior DUI with no restrictions. The officer agreed to dismiss both charges based upon our client’s ability to have obtained his driver's license and fix the broken taillight.
Reckless Driving Traffic Violations
Our client was charged with reckless driving after he was alleged to have run off the road and taken down several trees. We appeared in our client’s absence and, based upon cross-examination of the officer and argument, the charge of reckless driving was dismissed.
Possession of Heroin Traffic Violations
Our client was charged with possession of heroin when an officer searched his vehicle for a traffic violation. We were able to convince the commonwealth attorney’s office to dismiss the charge based upon insufficient evidence to show that our client knew that the substance was present in the vehicle.
Paid Court Costs Hit and Run, Reckless Driving and Providing a False Police Report
Our client was charged with hit and run, reckless driving, and providing a false police report. We negotiated a plea agreement wherein the client plead guilty to providing a false police report and the remaining charges were dismissed. Based upon argument made at the time of sentencing, the client was fined $50 and ordered to pay court costs.
Case Dismissed Reckless Driving
Our client was charged with reckless driving – operating his motor vehicle at a speed of 91 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. On cross-examination, the officer was able to produce a calibration for the vehicle for which he used to pace but the calibration was not properly authenticated. Court held the calibration inadmissible and the case dismissed.
Reduced to Defective Equipment Reckless Driving 92/55
Our client was charged with reckless driving 92/55. At our request, our client obtained a vehicle calibration and attended a driver improvement school. We argued that a reckless driving offense would create an unreasonable hardship. The charge was reduced to defective equipment, a non-moving violation.
Case Dismissed Reckless Driving
Our client was charged with a reckless driving accident. On cross-examination of the commonwealth's witness, it became apparent that the complainant was partially at fault. We successfully argued that under relevant case law the mere occurrence of an accident in and of itself is insufficient for a finding of guilt. The charge was dismissed.
Case Dismissed Reckless Driving and Open Container
Our client was charged with reckless driving and open container after he made an illegal U-turn to avoid a DUI checkpoint. We were able to prove that the operation of the motor vehicle did not in and of itself endanger life and that because the container was located on the floor of the passenger seat, they could not prove that my client knew of its presence. Both charges were dismissed.
Case Dismissed Hit and Run and Driving on Suspended License
Our client was charged with hit and run and three counts of driving on a suspended license. The court could not prove that he was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident since they pulled him over long after the accident occurred and they couldn't prove notice on any of the suspended license charges. The charges were dismissed.
Case Dismissed Traffic Violation
Our client was charged with driving down a one-way street. The court dismissed the charge on the basis that our client may have lacked proper notice.