Hit and run are defined as an intentional crime whereby a person driving or a driver of a said vehicle who was involved in an accident doesn’t stop to give out their identity, check for casualties and render aid if necessary but instead just flees in the scene as soon as they can. For a person to be charged with a hit and run, it must be known that that person knew that their vehicle was involved in a crime but yet refused to render aid, stop and give out his identity before speeding off.
Let’s say a motorist gets involved in or is the cause of an accident, he is required to Rufus all obligations by stopping and letting the victims know who he is by giving out his name, address and even his license number to whoever the victim is. He could also report the accident to the police or calling a 911 operator to identify himself and explain the entire situation as it is.
In some cases, it isn’t the most sufficient for a driver involved in the accident to just stop and start calling the authorities as it is a lot better to give out their names, address and license number of whatever vehicle he was driving and let those involved call the police but in a situation where there is no one around but him and the victim, the driver can place the call to the 911 operator or call the police.
Hit and run come with a lot of penalties in the state of Louisiana and it usually depends on the intensity of the case. Whichever it might be, it is best to know that the state of Louisiana prosecutes such offenders harshly and the need for legal representation is definitely inevitable and thinking of representing yourself in court can prove to be futile as an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help in reducing your penalty or getting your charges dropped entirely. So, if you have been charged with a hit and run case in Lake Charles or all of Calcasieu Parish, the need of a criminal defense attorney cannot be overemphasized.
The penalties for a hit and run in the state of Louisiana tends to vary due to the intensity of the crime as mentioned above. It can either be charged as felony or as a misdemeanor due to the alleged fact presented. But whichever one it is, prosecutors take them extremely seriously.
A misdemeanor hit and run are when there is no death or no serious bodily injury involved. Bodily injuries are injuries that could lead to death or permanent damage to a person. The defendant shall be fined a total of nothing more than 500 dollars or they can be sentenced to jail for a Pryor of nothing more than 6 months. In some cases, an individual could face both.
When there is no death or serious bodily injury involved, the judge would most likely find a defendant nothing more than 500 dollars and sentence them to a jail time of nothing less than 10 days and nothing more than 6 months or both if it is discovered that the driver was under the influence of an illegal drug or has consumed alcohol while knowing it can alter his actions and this can affect his prosecution as well.
A felony hit and run are when there is death or a serious bodily injury which could lead to death or permanent damage in a person as a result of an accident and where the driver should have known of this but instead didn’t stop to give their details and understand the situation before speeding off. The judge would find a defendant in such a case of nothing more than 5000 dollars or sentence them to 10 years in prison (nothing more). In some cases, both.
You might be wondering what a serious felony hit and run case could mean and this is when the following conditions are met. If a person is found wanting in some or all of these conditions, they would face prison time with or without hard labor for a period of nothing less than 5 years and nothing more than 20 years.
When there is death or serious bodily injury involved as a direct result of the said accident.
When the drivers know or must have known that the vehicle he was an operation which was involved in the accident was the cause of such a thing.
When the driver who is responsible for this has been convicted for cases of driving under the influence or vehicular negligent injuring or vehicular homicide or even first degree vehicular negligent injuring and so much more.
If a person is found wanting in any of these, there are heavily charged and face harsher penalties. Whatever the case may be, they have the right to legal representation in the court of law and have the right to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working on their case.
Most times it is best to not say anything to the authorities till your lawyer is present to prevent further implicating yourself and causing the case to get worse than it can actually be. A good and experienced lawyer should be able to reduce your charge significantly or dropped entirely.
Here at Carl Barkemeyer, we offer you the most aggressive representation you can ask for from our years of experience in the courtroom as we fight to reduce your penalties or even get your charges dropped off entirely. Everyone has the right of legal representation for hit and run in the law court and it can’t end with you. A criminal record can be devastating and can lead to a lot of loss and we do our best to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Calcasieu Parish District Judges
Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court
H. Taylor - Baton Rouge, Louisiana