Columbia Hit and Run Lawyer
A person who has been charged with a hit and run in Columbia is alleged to have failed to remain at the scene of an accident. Often this includes other factors. For example, a person who remains at the scene of an accident without leaving their identifying information or insurance information with the other party is considered a hit and run. Additionally, failing to leave a note in the event the car was unattended is also covered under Columbia hit and run laws.
If you have been accused of a hit and run, it is important to contact a criminal lawyer in Columbia. An experienced and local attorney can help to identify defense strategies that fit with the details and circumstances of your case.
Penalties in Columbia
While an individual may think that their hit and run case only includes one charge, they could actually be accused of several different charges. An officer can charge the driver with several different offenses for multiple issues under the Maryland hit and run statute.
Generally, the maximum penalties for a hit and run include up to 60 days of jail time, up to eight points added to the person’s driving record, and as much as $500 fine for each count of failure to remain at the scene of an incident. For each additional charge, a judge can determine that the penalties be executed consecutively.
The severity of the penalty assigned in a Columbia hit and run case is determined by the incident. An incident involving an unattended parked vehicle will be handled differently than an incident involving a vehicle occupied by another party.
If the damage itself was superficial and the person was not aware they even hit another car it will most likely be different than a situation with significant vehicular damage and obvious awareness of an accident by the offending driver. The involvement of alcohol or drug impairment is considered an exacerbating circumstance and will vastly increase the severity of the penalty. A judge considers hit and run accidents with serious physical injury to the other party most seriously.
Preparing a Defense
A Columbia hit and run attorney will want to evaluate all information the prosecutors have collected. This will be done to determine how well a prosecutor will be able to identify and prove the defendant was the driver of vehicle at the time the incident occurred. This is one of the most difficult factors of a hit and run case that the prosecutor must prove.
A defense attorney will attempt to use every tool in their arsenal to raise reasonable doubt that the defendant was the driver of the hit and run case. Oftentimes, there are no witnesses who can say who was driving. The defense attorney will be argue that even if there was a witness that can attest to the identity of the driver, based on the hour or the distance, the witness might have difficulty identifying the driver in court. That is one of the most important methods of defense a defense attorney uses in a case of this nature. Additionally, the defense attorney will be able to assist in negotiating the number of charges.
The penalties of a hit and run charge can be intimidating and negatively affect your life. A local hit and run attorney understands the nature and severity of these charges and can work with you to achieve the best possible outcome considering the facts and circumstances of your case. Contact a local attorney today for a free consultation and begin paving the way for your defense.