Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello,My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a criminal lawyer.When an accident occurs and you cause property damage you are obligated in Washington state to try to find the owner of the property that you damaged and if you can't to leave a note for him so that he will know who's accountable for it. Failure to do that is considered a hit and run under Washington State Law. It is a misdemeanor.So, whether you meet up with the sheriff or not, this is going to come out the same way -- with you getting charged with misdemeanor hit and run. BUT when you are a suspect in a crime you ought never speak to the police anyway, unless you are with an attorney who can watch out for your rights. Actually, it's probably a good thing you didn't get a hold of the sheriff or he you, as any criminal lawyer worth his license to practice would have told you not to call the police back.You don't have to, and if you do, anything you say can be used against you. If you don't call them back, your lack of cooperation can never be used against you because you have a Constitutional right to remain silent under these circumstances.Here's the thing. If the police want to arrest you they can do so. It's your car, and so they've got probable cause to arrest and charge you with this. BUT the only way he knows that you were driving that car is if you called him up, agreed to speak to him and told him. It is up to the state to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Make them work for that. Don't hand them a confession on a silver platter when you can just tell them you don't wish to discuss this until you've conferred with counsel. Then find yourself a criminal lawyer. The police won't be happy about this, but they know you've got rights and know that the law favors you and not them with regard to this issue. If you feel you want to talk to the police anyway, bring your lawyer.
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