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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32749
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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Do I need a lawyer before appearing in court? My 23 yr old

Customer Question

Do I need a lawyer before appearing in court? My 23 yr old son who is a student and has no money of his own was involved in a minor traffic accident. He was changing lanes and nipped another car. Both drivers pulled over into a parking lot to check damage. After agreeing there was no damage both parties drove away. Neither driver called the police at the scene. Two weeks later he is being charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He doesn't know what to expect or what kind of fine he will be responsible for or how to pay it.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 3 years ago.

JD 1992 :

Yes, in a case like this he needs to have a lawyer present. Leaving the scene of the accident is a criminal offense and he can get a criminal record from this which can follow him the rest of his life. Since you're not an attorney you can't speak for him in court, he'll have to handle everything himself and if your son is like my kids (around the same age) that will likely only make things worse.

JD 1992 :

You can contact your insurance company and see if they will provide an attorney. They will if he is sued but many times they will help him with an attorney since it is related to the wreck.

JACUSTOMER-j6oaz6k6- :

Do you think it make any difference as there was very little damage (according to the officer my son talked with who issued the summons) and is there a special type of lawyer we should look for?

JD 1992 :

Look for a lawyer who does criminal defense. You can find one in the local telephone book or at www.lawyers.com. The amount of damage can make a difference in what the DA does but it is still can be a crime even if the damage is minimal. A lawyer may be able to convince the DA that the parties agreed to leave the scene and get the DA to dismiss it with a pretrial diversion or something else that doesn't leave a record.

JACUSTOMER-j6oaz6k6- :

ok, thank you for your help

JD 1992 :

Best wishes to you and your son. He should come out of this fine as long as he takes it seriously and listens to the lawyer.

JD 1992 :

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread. When all of your questions have been answered, then I would ask that you give a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) since that is the only way I get credit for my work and also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. When looking at the answer I ask you to bear in mind I can’t control what the law is and whether it helps you, I can only tell you what it says, and I assume you want truthful information. Also, issuing a positive rating keeps the question from “timing out” so you can return in the future if you think of a follow up.

However, please do not issue a rating of any kind until all of your questions have been answered and please use the Reply button to ask additional questions or to provide answers to my questions.