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Virginia Beach Hit-and-Run Defense Lawyer
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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.
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.
If you are looking for a professional office, he is your man. His staff is friendly but professional.Y. Cathcart
Fantastic staff and Mr. Miller represented me well!J. Madison
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