Now and then, there are usually road accidents or mishaps which happen on the road. It could either be from negligence on the part of drivers or road users. Whichever one it is, the people involved are supposed to make a report to the right officials if it is something they cannot handle. Most times, there are officials on the road who will witness everything and expect those involved to make a report. However, some people try to escape from the law especially if they are the cause of the problem at hand. This is where hit and run come in.
Hit and run refers to a situation where a driver commits a crime of collision with another vehicle or hits a property or a person and then proceeds to keep driving without stopping. Usually, when such a situation happens, the driver is supposed to stop and provide certain details. This details should include:
· Driver's license
· License plate number
· Insurance policy number
· Any other important information
The two parties involved need to provide this information. If there has been any damage done, it needs to be included in the statement. Hit and run is a serious offense especially if it involves life and properties.
Staying back to own up to your crime and do what's necessary is not a bright idea. Sometimes, the defendant thinks it is better to run off and being caught later. However, so many people have reasons why they hit and run. It could be that they are wanted for other crimes and owning up to their current crime will aggravate everything. It could also be that they have expired papers such as driver's license or that they don't have insurance.
However, you need to stay back because running is only increasing your offense.
You may think it is difficult to track down a driver involved in a hit and run case. However, the reverse is the case as it is very easy. The police only need to get witnesses from those involved in the area. Once you have called their attention, they start work immediately. They will proceed to arrive in the scene and get as much evidence as possible.
The evidence may include videos recorded by the people around. This is the easiest as many people own smartphones now and are quick to recorded occurrences that happen in public. Evidence could also be gotten from surveillance cameras and witnesses. Witnesses could provide details such as the color of the car, the car plate number, type of car and other information. The police get to work with all the information gotten and before you know it, the driver would be caught and justice follows suit.
In as much as it is very difficult to get legal defenses for a hit and run accident, there are defenses to the crime. However, it takes a very good criminal defense attorney to get the right defense mechanism for your crime. Here are possible defenses:
· Responding to an emergency: One defense mechanism you can use is that you were rushing off to attend to an emergency, maybe you were driving a woman in labor to the hospital or any other emergency.
· Lack of knowledge: One can also claim that he or she was bereft of knowledge. In this case, you had no idea that there was any injury or damages. It is difficult, however, to prove that you were not aware of the incident
Hit and run offenses could be a misdemeanor or a felony in Monroe. Well, it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the situation. For it to be a felony, it needs to involve serious bodily injury, excessive damage to property or the death of a person.
Therefore, the penalty for a hit and run offense depends on the severity of the crime. Generally, hit and run charges are serious in Ouachita parish.
For a misdemeanor hit and run case, the penalty is to pay a fine of up to 500 dollars and serve a jail term of not more than one year. Then for felony cases that involve serious injuries or death, the penalty pays a fine of up to 5000 dollars and serves a jail term of not more than ten years with hard labor or not.
Other offenses under hit and run
Alongside the hit and run charge, one could also be charged for other incidences such as:
· A vehicular homicide which involves the death of a person through reckless driving
· Drinking under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you've been involved in an accident, the best thing to do is to remain at the crime scene. Any attempt to leave the place could bring you a hit and run charge. It doesn't matter if the damage done is minor, you need to stay there and ensure the situation at hand gets to the right authorities.
If you are the victim, try to take note is the driver's plate number, car model and any other information. Also, try to keep other witnesses until the police arrive.
If you've been arrested and charged with a hit and run, you might be at a loss of what to do. The first step you need to take is to get in touch with a hit and run defense attorney. He or she should be a professional hit and run lawyer in Monroe that fully understands how the crime works and will be able to handle your case.
This is where Carl Barkemeyer comes in. Carl Barkemeyer has been handling hit and run cases in Louisiana for a long time and he knows how the law works. He would determine the right defense for you, give you legal advice, help you know the severity of your crime and also represent you in court.