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Leaving the Scene of an Accident
“I left the scene of an accident last night, and don’t know what to do.”
I get this call all the time. Usually because someone got scared and left the scene of an accident, either leaving their car on the scene because of damage, or driving away and going home or to a safe location. NOW WHAT?
Well, we handle these kinds of cases all the time. But there is no quesiton you need to hire an attorney IMMEDIATELY. This is not something you should even attempt to navigate yourself.
My advice to these callers depends on many factors. First, did they drive away, or run away? Is the car still on the scene, or impounded, or in your driveway? Do you have a criminal record? Was anyone hurt in the accident that you know of? Many more issues arise as well, but first things first. Let’s get in front of this by hiring the best criminal defense attorney that you can afford, and let him or her advise you.
Having been a former police officer, I know what polcies and proceedures they follow in one of these investigations. I quite literally have the detectives of the Hit and Run Division of Metro Nashville Police Department on speed dial. The fisrt thing I will do is contact them for you. They are reasonable people, but they have a job to do and it is NOT in your best interest to contact them yourself. You should NEVER talk to the police yourself. And any lawyer worth his salt will tell you that.
That doesn’t mean we should just wait on them to catch you. Not at all. We should (and we do) call them and get them involved so that we can ultimately get your car back, and/or resolve any potential charges that may be looming. In “many cases” we are able to resolve the issue without a conviction for any criminal offense (such as Leaving the Scene Of an Accident), and in some cases without even a “charge” for any offense. Yes! That is possible.
What NOT to do?
- DO NOT REPORT THE CAR STOLEN. You can get in much more trouble if you try to hide your involvment by reporting the car stolen. Believe it or not this happens frequently. But it is the wrong thing to do. With that said, if you have already made this mistake, we can fix that too!
- DO NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE about the case or your involvment until you have consulted with an attorney. We can help you avoid a conviction and/or even a criminal charge in some cases, but you can hurt your chances of that by speaking to the police, your insurance company, or others without consulting with us first.
- DO NOT DO “NOTHING”. Simply doing nothing will always compound your problems. Time is not your friend here. Get in front of this immediately. You’ll be glad you did. You will always feel better when you have consulted someone with experience defending Hit and Run cases. There is so much that we can do to mitigate your punishment and/or liability in this matter. But we have to get started quickly, before warrants are taken, and before the police come to find you.
Remember this: there is NOTHING that you have done that we can not resolve. And usually quite favorably. But you have to get started down the right path. And hiring an experienced lawyer is the first step of that “right path”. For more detailed information, or a free consultation, call Nashville’s Criminal Attorney David Ridings today.