Defense Strategies for a Hit and Run in Manassas
There are a couple of important things that the Manassas hit and run lawyer will look at when preparing a hit and run defense. The first thing is to review what is in the police report. In other words, what the police officers observed and what statements were made to the police officer added by witnesses or the defendants themselves. Additionally, physical evidence such as photographs of damage, medical bills prepared by doctors at hospitals, as well as any bills for fixing either the defendant’s car or the alleged victim’s injuries.
When preparing a defense for a hit and run, it is essential to know who is going to testify and what they are going to say. In some cases, the hit and run evidence is going to come from a police officer who can testify to the statements received by the defendant or witnesses, as well as any behavior he or she saw. Many hit and run cases will involve the testimony of alleged victims or other witnesses who can establish what happened. Knowing what those individuals are going to say and even if they are available to come to court is critical in preparing a defense for a hit and run case.
Often an accident reconstruction expert is considered for building the defense’s case because part of the Commonwealth’s proof is to show that there was an accident of some kind which that actually involved the defendant. Sometimes reasonable doubt can be created by an expert testifying, either that no accident occurred or that the accident may have been imperceptible for the defendant.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
Misdemeanor and felony hit and runs are identical with the exception of two key differences: whether there was an injury to a person or significant damage to property. In any case with an injury to a person, the matter will be charged as a felony. In any case with damage to property more than $1,000, the case will be charged as a felony. If there is less than $1,000 in property damage and no injury, then it will be classified as a misdemeanor hit and run.
There are a number of reasons why you should consult with an attorney even if your hit and run only caused property damage. If the property damage is significant, you may be facing a felony charge. Even if you are only facing a misdemeanor charge, there are far-reaching consequences of being convicted of a hit and run.
The driver may find their license suspended by the court or administratively suspended by DMV. In some cases, consequences include serving jail time. In addition, if a person suffers a conviction, they can anticipate their insurance company will either drop them from coverage or raise their rates significantly. These are things that a person can attempt to avoid and have a much better chance of mitigating if they engage the services of lawyers.
Important Qualities of the Attorney
The most important quality in a criminal defense attorney is experience. There is no substitute for someone who knows the jurisdictions, knows the prosecutors, knows the judge, and knows the law. After that, the next most important thing is finding someone who can communicate and be responsive and who will listen to all of your concerns while tailoring the defense that has your objectives in mind.
You should hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as you’re charged. Hit and run in Manassas and everywhere in Virginia is a criminal offense. Whenever you’re charged with a criminal offense that means that you could potentially go to jail. It means that you can have something put on your permanent record and you might be facing significant fines, and have aversive consequences to your driver’s license.
You should expect that your criminal defense attorney is going to work hard to give you the best chance to have your case dismissed, reduced or have the consequences of conviction be mitigated. You should expect that your attorney has experience with the local jurisdictions and actually has tried many of these kinds of cases. You should choose an attorney who is communicative and responsive to you and who can take into account all of the particular concerns that you have regarding your case.