December 22, 2007 By Wallin & Klarich

If you were in an accident which resulted in damage to property you have certain obligations and responsibilities in order to avoid being prosecuted for a crime. You MUST do one of the following: either 1) locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property or owner of the other vehicle and show them your Drivers License and Vehicle Registration OR if you are unable to locate this person 2) Leave a note on the vehicle or property giving your name and address and a statement of the circumstances. You also MUST notify the police department of the city where it occurred if you were unable to notify the driver directly or by leaving a note.

Let’s say you got into an accident yesterday and have been debating about what you should do.

Should you call the police? Should you go to the police station?

If you did NOT leave a note on the property you hit, I would suggest you contact a criminal defense lawyer. Yes, your obligation is to contact the police department as soon as possible, but if you did not leave a note, then you might only be talking your way into more trouble. Instead, contact an attorney and let them do the talking for you.

In Hit and Run situations, it is usually your words and admissions that will convict you and trust me, the police will contact you, or the registered owner. If you hire an attorney early, the attorney may be able to determine who the owner of the vehicle is and negotiate some sort of civil compromise and help avoid any criminal liability.

If you were in a serious accident, one in which you believe someone was hurt, the charges and consequences could be MUCH more serious, including felony charges and possible time in state prison.

Do not wait! The longer you wait, the more likely it is that a police report has been filed against you. Contact a qualified attorney in your area to get the ball rolling and keep you out of trouble

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