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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 19777
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp. with Traffic Law issues
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I hydroplaned during a storm/flood and crashed into a ditch.

Customer Question

I hydroplaned during a storm/flood and crashed into a ditch. This was 4 am in the middle of the country. My phone got wet as I was trying to get out and couldn't call for help. Someone drove by and offered to take me home. I was scarred that I was in a dangerous situation with the storm/flooding and agreed. I'm now being charged with leaving the scene of an accident
JA: OK. The Traffic Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, I was just informed this evening about the charges
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Traffic Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else important you think the Traffic Lawyer should know?
Customer: My phone was wet and dead and I couldn't call for help, I left because I felt I was in an unsafe situation due to the storm/flooding
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Traffic Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information, can you please tell me what your legal question is? Also, I need to know what State you received the ticket in.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This happened in Kansas. My question is, is leaving due to inability to call for help and/or perceived danger in the situation a valid defense?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 months ago.

Hello again and thank you for your question. It isn't clear to me from your description of the accident that there was any property damage other than to your vehicle. If there wasn't I am not even sure why you are being charged with leaving the scene of an accident since the law requires either injuries or damage to property (other than yours). But, in any event, not being able to immediately report the accident is not an absolute defense to the charge, as the law allows and requires that as soon as possible the accident be reported. So, if you never reported it, that would be an issue as far as your defense goes.

I might suggest that you consult with a local traffic law attorney and obtain representation. They may be able to challenge the charge and get the State to drop it, or perhaps reduce it.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed or to ask follow up questions. If none, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. Later in the morning when it was daylight and the storm ended I went back to where my car was. It was no longer there and I discovered that 30 mn after I left a sheriff responded to a report concerning my vehicle and had it towed. I used my sister's phone to contact the deputy and left him a message asking him to call her phone if he had questions/concerns. Later in the evening I called him again and answered his questions concerning what happened. I was honest and explained the whole chain of events and thought I was bringing a conclusion to his report. I was never told that I was being charged with a crime or my miranda rights until the end of the conversation when he told me I was being charged. Wasn't I supposed to be told my rights since he was asking me questions concerning a criminal charge?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 months ago.

Hello again--No, Miranda Rights are not due unless and until you are in "custody" and being questioned. A telephone conversation does not give rise to the necessity to give Miranda warnings. That said, your attorney can look at the circumstances, as mentioned, to see if you have any defense or challenge to the charge when they are actually able to obtain all of the facts and the evidence that the State has, which I don't have access to.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answers I provided to you on the 25th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not received your rating.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.