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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34530
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I have been given a citation for a hit and run in minnesota

Customer Question

I have been given a citation for a hit and run in minnesota with a scheduled court date. Do I need to contact an attorney before that time? If I agree to pay a fine, will a misdemeanor show up on my record? For how long? What impact will said misdemeanor have on my life - driving, work (as a teacher), potential adoption, passport/travel... will it limit any of these things, or other areas of my life?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

The short answer is yes. That would be a very good idea.

The reason is that under MN law, leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense.

It is either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances (if there was significant personal injury or death it is a felony, otherwise it is a misdemeanor). So conviction would remain on your criminal record. This is true even if you go in and agree to pay a fine. And will remain on your record. It will not go away...not on its own accord

And with the trend towards availability of data...a conviction, over time, will have more and more visibility (for example, it is relatively easy to perform background checks today...this will only get easier going forward)

And it is a great legal way to discriminate.

Example...two applicants for one job. One has clean record, one has a misdemeanor conviction, all else equal the nod may well go to the clean record.

The reason to have a lawyer assist is they can help you negotiate a settlement to the case that can help prevent the conviction, or perhaps "defer" it so that you can have it expunged down the road.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How do I find an attorney that I can afford?

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
I am disheartened to see you provided a poor service rating. I do my best to provide accurate, candid, and thorough answers. If I have not done so in your case I would urge you to use the feature that allows you to request more information. Poor ratings impact my ability to continue to help others on this site.

The best way to find an attorney you can afford is to get on the phone. It is a buyers market, for the most need to put some time into talking to attorneys who can help you. What you describe? Negotiating a plea agreement in a DUI case? I would not expect it to take more than a few hours at the billing rate.

You can start the search here

For type of case input "criminal law"

If I can provide you with more information, please ask
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your second attempt; it is not necessary for you to provide a third response. Your second response referrences DUI; which my case has NO referrence to what-so-ever. I will move on to finding an attorney in my area.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
I wish you the best of luck in your search