Washingtonians commit the crime of hit and run with injury if they leave an accident scene when a person is injured. The offense is a serious felony that can result in a state prison term of up to five 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 Injury in WA?
RCW 46.52.020(4)(b) is the Washington statute that defines the crime of hit and run with injury. People commit this offense if they:
- get in a motor vehicle accident where another person is injured (no matter whether that person be 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 an 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 with injury is a Class C felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor) under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:
- Up to five years in state prison, and/or
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. People charged with this crime can fortunately challenge it with a legal defense. A common defense is for a driver to show that he/she actually stopped at the accident scene. Sometimes people cannot stop right where an accident took place because of emergency concerns or the absence of the space to park a vehicle. If this was the case, and parties can show that they stopped in a close proximity to the accident scene, then they’ll have a valid defense to a hit and run charge.
Other common defenses include defendants showing that:
- No one was injured in the accident,
- They also suffered injuries that required immediate emergency attention (and did in fact seek 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 25 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!