How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17134
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
18321761
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was driving home in the morning from visiting my sisters

Resolved Question:

I was driving home in the morning from visiting my sisters house, it was really early in the morning around 5 am and the road was wet and slippery. I was very tired and fell asleep for a split second, missed 4 way stop turn, and tried to turn right, slipped and hit a park signed and my car fell into a ditch. I panicked and had anxiety attack and afraid to go to my girlfriend's house which was really close by. Instead I walked to my friends house which was around 20 minutes or so away to get his truck to tow the car so that I wouldn't have to incur the towing expenses. It was really early in the morning and dark still, so we decided to rest up and wait until the days cleared up a little bit. But when we got to the seen, the car was gone. I've found out that the car was towed away by the sheriffs office. The sheriff initially tried to contact my girlfriend at her house and my brother in law and sister and told me to contact the sheriffs office by 1pm that day or else he was going to arrest me. He initially told them that he was going to issue me a ticket for property damage. I manage to call the sheriffs office by he was on duty and so I left the sheriff a message. He called me back and left me a voice mail telling me to call him back. And so we've playing phone tag for about 3 days now, and I recently left him a message with his fellow officer again as the deputy was off work for 3 days.

Today...instead of calling me directly he called my brother in law asking where about. My brother in law instructed him that I was working and he told my brother in law that he was going to arrest me for hit and run.

At this point I'm not sure what the sheriff is trying to do? First, I don't know why he would call my brother in law when I left him a message twice with his officer with my contact information.

I'm taking this threat from the sheriff seriously and would like to know what my options are. At first I was willing to talk to him when he said that he wanted to issue me a ticket, but now he wants to arrest me for a hit and run? I do not want to incriminate myself and would like to get advice on how I should handle this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

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.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17134
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Criminal Lawyer
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Criminal Lawyer
17134 Satisfied Customers
Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.