People in Washington commit the crime of hit and run with death if they are involved in an accident that results in the death of a party and then leave the accident scene. The offense is a serious felony that can result in a state prison term of up to ten years. If you or a loved one is charged with hit and run, please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now for help.
What is Hit and Run with Death in WA?
RCW 46.52.020(1) is the Washington statute that defines the crime of hit and run resulting in death. People commit this offense if they:
- get in a motor vehicle accident where another person dies (no matter whether the death involves another driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian), and
- leave the scene of the accident.
Note that Washington law imposes two duties on drivers when they are in an accident where a death or injury occurs. These are that drivers must:
- stop their vehicles and offer assistance to any injured parties, including arranging for transportation to a hospital, and
- provide all parties involved with their name, address, insurance information, and driver’s license information.
What are the penalties?
Hit and run resulting in death is a Class B felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor) under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:
- Up to ten years in state prison, and/or
- A maximum fine of $20,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Fortunately, people charged with this offense can contest it with a legal defense. A common defense is for a driver to show that he/she actually stopped at the accident scene. If a driver did in fact stop, then there is no “run” aspect to a hit and run offense.
Other common defenses include accused parties showing that:
- No one was killed in an accident,
- They suffered injuries from the accident that required immediate emergency attention (and therefore had to flee the scene of the accident to get medical help),
- They were falsely accused, and
- The police violated one of their constitutional rights (for example, failed to properly read Miranda rights).
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a hit and run charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on hit and run charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these types of cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!