Highly Reputable Festus, MO, Hit and Run Lawyers Defending Your Case
In Missouri, the safety of all citizens on the road is of utmost importance. If you were involved in an accident and then you left the scene, there is the possibility that the state will come down on you with the harshest charge possible. That’s why it’s important that you get competent defense to help you through the process.
That is likely the only way that you can have an opportunity to share your story in court and possibly avoid the devastating penalties. For that, you’ll need to engage the services of skilled hit and run lawyers in Jefferson County, MO.
Grafe & Batchelor Attorneys at Law are seasoned criminal defense lawyers who have experience with hit and run accident clients. We have represented clients who have left the scene of an accident in Missouri.
If you have been arrested on the charge of leaving an accident scene, we can help you. Call Grafe & Batchelor Attorneys at Law at 636-933-9151 today for a free consultation regarding your case.
What is a Hit and Run?
A hit and run is the act of getting in a vehicular accident and then leaving the scene without exchanging information or helping anyone else who was involved. The accident can be with another vehicle, a pedestrian, cyclist, or even a stationary object like a tree, house, or parked vehicle.
In Missouri, the law doesn’t differentiate between whether you were responsible for the accident or not. By merely leaving the scene, you risk being charged with a hit and run. The exception to that rule might be, however, if someone has left the scene to go and get help, after which they return to the scene. That is likely not grounds for a charge.
In the event that you hit a stationary vehicle in a parking lot, it can be difficult to identify or track down the owner. However, the law expects that you will at the very least leave your contact information on their vehicle. Not doing this means that you are possibly guilty of a hit and run.
What are the Penalties for Leaving the Scene in Missouri?
With hit and run accidents, punitive damages are often awarded to the victim of the traffic accident. The damages awarded to the victim serve two purposes: to teach the offender a lesson and to serve as a deterrent to other people.
Missouri takes a hit and run charge so seriously that it can even apply to people other than the party responsible for the accident. It might actually apply to anyone who leaves the scene of the accident.
Under Missouri laws, hit and run accidents can either be charged as felonies or misdemeanors. The final decision regarding the charge depends on the severity of injuries and other key factors.
If the accident caused significant injuries or death, and someone left the scene, the case will possibly be prosecuted as a Class D felony. That means the guilty party may have to serve a jail term of up to four years and pay a fine of up to $5,000.
This usually applies to first time offenders. Repeat offenders and people with previous convictions like DWI will often pay steeper fines and serve longer prison terms.
Hit and run accidents that cause damages less than $1,000 are often prosecuted as Class A misdemeanors. This means you could pay up to $1,000 in fines and spend 1 year in jail. If the damages cost more, the courts are likely to prosecute it as a Class D felony (particularly if you’re a repeat offender).
Are Points Added to Your Driving License After a Hit and Run?
Yes, you will often also have points added to your driver’s license. However, the exact number of points depends on which law enforcement officer is ticketing you.
A ticket issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol will likely add 12 points to your driver’s license, while a Jefferson County police officer’s ticket could attract 6 points. The state can also suspend your license if it is deemed necessary.
You Need Legal Help
Fighting a hit and run charge is difficult, and you can’t do it alone. That’s why you need an experienced hit and run defense lawyer in Festus, Jefferson County, MO, to represent you.
If your actions resulted in another person’s death, law enforcement will likely charge you as strictly as possible. You need an advocate to fight for you.
At Grafe & Batchelor Attorneys at Law, our attorneys are highly skilled and competent criminal defense lawyers with over 30 years of experience. We’ll create legal defense strategies in an effort to provide you with the best possible outcomes.
Call us today at 636-933-9151 today for a free consultation regarding your case.