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I came home to find a card from a police officer in my front…

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I came home to find...
I came home to find a card from a police officer in my front door saying that my car had been involved in a "crash" in a parking lot last night. I may have backed up into a parked car and left the scene. How much trouble could I be in?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Legal
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6/27/2010
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
MShore
MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25,285
Experience: Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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Thank you for the post, how much damage was done to the other car and your car? I ask because the penalty depends on how reasonable it is that you did not realize you hit the other car.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
There is no damage done to my car, and I don't know how much damage was done to the other car. I haven't called the Police Officer back yet.
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
ok, how hard did you hit the other car?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I don 't really know. I was backing up in a parking lot and must have hit a parked car. I couldn't have hit it that hard.
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
ok, contact the officer. The penalty for fleeing the scene of an accident involving property damage only it is a class 1 misdemeanor.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Will I be able to take care of it with my insurance company? Will I have to go to court?
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
What do you mean by "take care of it?"
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I meant take care of the damage to the other vehicle through insurance, and pay a fine, or will I have to go to court? Will I be arrested?
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago

Whether you will be arrested, and consequently have to go to court depends entirely on the officer's prerogative. Because it is now a hit and run, your insurance company is likely to avoid payment as your policy likely states that unlawful activity is not covered.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I have never been in any trouble before. I feel awful, however I am really scared.
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
I understand, contact the police officer.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I haven't called the officer because a friend of mine borrow my car to go to work this morning and I don't actually have the car right now. Should I wait until I get my car back before I call the officer back?
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
No, you being "in possession" of your car is irrelevant to your liability for the damage you did to the other vehicle.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I understand that. I just meant that if he wanted to look at it, take pictures of it or something.
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
He will arrange a time to do that. You should contact him asap as a showing of good faith.
MShore
MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25,285
Experience: Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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Lawyer: Jim Reilly, Attorney replied 8 years ago
Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,805
Experience: California lawyer since 1976.
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I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX Mr. Crane's suggestion that you just "contact the police officer". See this excellent discussion of the subject of speaking with police officers:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik


 


You should not contact this police officer without first discussing the situation with an attorney. Once you have advice from a competent criminal defense attorney, you should act on that advice -- which might include having him accompany you to visit with the police or perhaps contacting them on your behalf.


 


You can also "take care" of this problem by paying for any damage through your attorney. That way it can be accomplished without any admission of wrong-doing on your part.


 


While this isn't major, serious crime, it is a Class 1 misdeanor and carries a maxium possible sentence of 45 days in jail. No competent criminal defense attorney would advise you to speak with the police without having first at least discussed the situation with an attorney.


 


 

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