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J D Haas
J D Haas, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2998
Experience:  23 years as a trial lawyer with experience in criminal law.
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I am located in Seattle, Washington. In May 2007 at ...

Customer Question

I am located in Seattle, Washington. In May 2007 at 8:00 am on my way to work I accidentally hit a pedestrian while making a left turn at a light. He did have the right of way and immediately after hitting him I stopped my truck twice to check on the man. He claimed he was okay. I told him I needed to go around the block to park since we were blocking traffic. When I came back about 5 minutes later, he was gone. Three weeks ago I went to court for a pending DUI case. When I came out of court my truck had been impounded by a police officer as "evidence". Since last may until now no one had contacted me, nor phoned me. I didn''t call the police that day. Now they are accusing me of a hit and run though they''re were several witnesses that saw I did stop twice. Unfortunately, I didn''t get their information as witnesses. My question is what legal implications am I facing if this is considered hit and run?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  J D Haas replied 8 years ago.
You may be charged for hit and run, but it is a weak case since you stopped and had a conversation with the victim and since you stopped at a safe place and returned. As you probably know it would help you to find the witnesses. Perhaps a newspaper advertisement asking for anyone with information about the accident to contact you would lead to some witnesses. If you are convicted of hit and run and the person is seriously injured you could face jail time. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. If you cannot afford one the State of Washington will provide you with a public defender (or the county will).

However, you have many facts on your side: 1) minimal impact; 2) conversation with the victim; 3) the victim did not even drop his briefcase; 4) you stopped as quickly as you could; 5) you had no intent to hit and run and you must have intent in order to be guilty of a crime; and 6) the victim suffered minor injuries, if he suffered any injuries. I do not think this is a strong hit and run case from the state or county's point of view. That being said, you still need a good criminal defense lawyer. Good luck.

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