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Hit and Run

What is a Hit and Run?

Generally, a hit and run is when a person is involved in an automobile accident and leaves the scene of the accident without leaving the necessary information, such as contact information and insurance information.

Hit and Run Attended:

According to RCW §46.52.020, a person is guilty of a hit and run attended if, after being involved in an accident with an attended vehicle, he fails to:

  1. Immediately stop,
  2. Provide his name, address, insurance company, insurance policy number, and vehicle license number to the owner of any other vehicle involved int he accident,
  3. Show his driver's license to the owner of any other vehicle involved in the accident, AND
  4. Render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident.

Penalties for Hit and Run Attended in Washington:

The penalties for a hit and run attended depends upon the type of damage caused.

  1. If the accident resulted in death, a hit and run attended is considered a class B felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $20,000, or both.
  2. If the accident resulted in injury, a hit and run attended is considered a class C felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.
  3. If the accident involved striking the body of a deceased person, a hit and run attended is considered a gross misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.
  4. If the accident involved resulted in damage to a vehicle attended by a person, or to other property, a hit and run attended is considered a gross misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.

Also, a conviction will result in the revocation of the person's driver's license or permit.

Hit and Run Unattended:

According to RCW §46.52.010, a person is guilty of a hit and run unattended if, after colliding with an unattended vehicle, he fails to:

  1. Immediately stop, AND
  2. Either locate the owner of the other vehicle and provide his name and address, OR leave his name and address in a conspicuous place on the other vehicle.

Penalties for Hit and Run Unattended in Washington:

A hit and run unattended is considered a misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ninety days in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both.

Defending a Hit and Run Charge:

There are a number of ways to defend a hit and run charge. One possible defense is that there was an emergency that required the your immediate presence. Another possible defense is simply that you were not aware of any injury or damage. If you failed to stop and provide information because you did not know that you collided with a vehicle and caused damage, then it's difficult to find guilt. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.

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