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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27705
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Im being charged with felony hit and run the scene.

Customer Question

im being charged with felony hit and run for leaving the scene. my girlfriend was in the passanger seat of my car I had picked her up from a bar and she was so drunk she kept trying to get out of my car. so I got out for a second asked if they were ok and then left before my friend got out and stubbled thru the intersection. I went home and had my roomate carry her in and i was so freaked out I started doing shots. now im being charged with dui also even though i wasnt drinking at the time of the acident. attorneys are telling me Ill have to plead to the dui to get out of the felony. noone was hurt it was a 15 mph fender bende and i called the people next day to make sure they were ok and had my correct insurance info.I will loose my kob if I have a felony but I will also loose everything pleading to a dui that I wasnt dui
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
>My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer. Thanks for requesting me.
You've put yourself in a pretty bad situation here by not going back to the scene.
What is the question you'd like me to answer about this situation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well I have never had an accident in my life have a perfect driving record and no criminal history. I know I should have gone back to the scene but I made a mistake. It shouldnt effect the rest of my life by either being charged with a felony or accepting a dui charge that I dont deserve just so the commonwealth can have some sort of conviction from this. what can I do
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
I understand your frustrations with this, but you're between a rock and a hard place. I agree with your lawyer's assessment. Realistically speaking I don't see how you can beat both the hit and run and the DUI. You're going to be convicted of one. Here's why:
Let's assume you don't want to plead guilty to anything but want to fight the case. The prosecutor is going to go forward with the felony hit and run and the DUI. You don't have a defense that I can see to the hit and run. You have an excuse, which is not the same thing at all. It does not make out anything close to a necessity defense which could get you an acquittal on that charge.
If a jury finds that the above was what you actually did, you would be convicted of the hit and run but not the DUI, and, of course, the jury could convict you of both charges, because if I were the DA I would strongly suggest that your reason for leaving the scene is that you didn't want the police to know that you were drunk. The judge would charge the jury that flight is consciousness of guilt and that will hurt you on the DUI case.
You might be able to find a lawyer persuasive enough to get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor, assuming injuries and property damage was minimal, and to let you plead to that and dismiss the DUI as covered by the plea. It will be a hard sell, but you will know fairly quickly if the DA really plans on indicting the case.