Have you been arrested for a hit and run accident in Lexington, KY? Conviction on hit and run charges can have significant consequences that can haunt your future.
The prosecutors will work tirelessly to win a conviction. You deserve an aggressive defense to even the playing field. A Lexington hit and run attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help you fight to minimize the fallout. Our legal team has decades of experience defending Lexington residents accused of crimes.
We offer free initial consultations so that you can get the legal advice you need and deserve. Contact our law offices in Lexington, Kentucky, today to schedule a free consultation.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help if You Were Arrested for a Hit and Run in Lexington
Leaving the scene of a car wreck can transform a minor traffic violation into a serious criminal offense. Law enforcement officials take hit and runs seriously. The police will use their vast resources to locate the hit and run driver–and most police officers will assume there was a reason you failed to stop.
It’s important to take the charges seriously if you’ve been accused of fleeing the scene of an accident. The prosecutors will. Our Lexington criminal defense lawyers can help you resolve your case fairly.
Our attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC put over 100 years of combined criminal law experience in your corner. Our team includes a former police officer and former prosecutors. We know both sides of the law; we know the defense strategies that can work in your case.
You can count on us to:
- Investigate to locate all evidence to support your defense
- Provide sound legal guidance throughout the criminal justice process
- Protect your constitutional rights and identify any violations of those rights
- Negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to have the charges against you downgraded or dismissed if possible
Ready to learn more? Call for a free consultation today and learn how you can protect yourself against hit-and-run charges.
Overview of the Hit and Run Laws in Kentucky
“Hit and run” is the term used to describe a situation where a motorist is involved in a motor vehicle accident and:
- Fails to stop at the accident scene
- Fails to offer assistance where possible, and/or
- Fails to contact law enforcement
Under Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 189.580, drivers in Lexington have a legal duty to stop at the scene of an accident that causes physical injury, death, or property damage. Upon stopping, the motorist is required to arrange for medical treatment if necessary.
The driver also has a duty to provide certain information, including:
- A name
- Address and phone number
- Insurance information
Fault is irrelevant in hit and run cases. Drivers are required to stop at the scene of an accident even if someone else was entirely responsible for causing the accident. Drivers are also required to stop even if the other vehicle was unoccupied at the time of the crash. If an unoccupied vehicle is involved, the driver is required to put their contact information in a conspicuous location so that the owner can find it later.
Leaving the scene of an accident changes the situation dramatically. Instead of facing a mere traffic ticket, you will face criminal charges. Leaving the scene itself suggests that you’re guilty or driving as an uninsured motorist. You’ll need a strong criminal defense lawyer to overcome that implication.
Were you recently accused of leaving the scene of an accident in Lexington? Our hit and run defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help protect your legal rights. We’ll immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and help you build a strong legal defense to minimize the damage. Just call our law offices today to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more.
What are the Penalties for a Hit and Run Conviction in Lexington, Kentucky?
The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Lexington depends upon the severity of the accident. A hit and run can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
Hit and Run With Minor Injuries
If the hit and run accident caused only minor injuries or property damage, the hit and run is a Class A misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a conviction includes:
- Up to $500 in financial penalties
- Up to one year in jail
Six points will also be added to your driver’s record.
Hit and Run Causing Serious Injuries or Death
A hit and run accident is a much more serious offense if it causes serious bodily injury or death. In most cases, the hit and run will be a Class D felony. The potential penalty for conviction includes:
- Up to five years in Kentucky state prison
- Up to $10,000 in financial penalties
In addition to points on your driving record, the court can suspend your driver’s license for up to six months following a conviction for a felony hit and run.
What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Hit and Run?
Like many criminal offenses, a hit and run conviction will come with its share of collateral consequences. Aside from the potential for jail time and monetary fines, your driving record will be impacted. That means you’ll be required to pay higher insurance rates indefinitely. Insurance companies could even refuse to provide car insurance.
You may also face a personal injury claim in civil court. Victims often hire personal injury attorneys to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages for their medical expenses, property damage, and more.
It’s important to fight back if you’ve been accused of leaving the scene of an auto accident. An experienced Lexington hit and run defense attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help you minimize the consequences of being convicted.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, contact our law firm to schedule a free case review today.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Hit and Run?
Being accused of leaving the scene of an accident doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be convicted of a crime. Depending upon the circumstances, a wide range of defense strategies may be available. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we have over 100 years of experience helping clients develop strong legal defense strategies.
Some of the most effective defense strategies in hit and run cases include:
Lack of Knowledge
Drivers are required to stop if the accident caused property damage, injury or death. It may be possible to argue that the accident was so minor that you didn’t even know it happened–or didn’t know that any damage was caused.
Minor fender benders in grocery store parking lots or while stuck in traffic can be so subtle that it’s possible you didn’t even feel the impact. In these cases, leaving the scene of the accident may be reasonable.
There are circumstances that could explain why a driver left the scene of an accident. For example, if you were experiencing a medical emergency and were involved in an accident on the way to the hospital, stopping to exchange insurance information may be unreasonable in cases involving minor accidents.
If you can explain your reasons for leaving the scene, your charges likely won’t be dropped. However, the courts may be inclined to impose less harsh penalties if you had a good reason for failure to stop.
Involuntary Loss of Decision-Making Abilities
There are situations where a driver’s decision-making abilities may be involuntarily compromised. While intoxication generally is no defense to failure to stop and render aid, involuntary intoxication can be a strong defense.
Involuntary intoxication might happen in situations where you were experiencing an adverse and unforeseen interaction between medications or where a prescription medication impacts you in an unforeseen way.
Of course, this defense will require medical evidence. Your doctor’s testimony will be key to proving that the “intoxication” was not voluntary. In other words, you’ll have to prove that you were using the medications as prescribed and that your doctor did not recommend that you avoid driving.
It’s not a hit and run if you left the scene to find help. For example, if you stopped and saw that the parties in the other vehicle were injured, it might be reasonable to drive to the nearest phone to call for help (assuming you were unable to make the call from the scene).
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Lexington Hit and Run Attorney Today
Were you charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Kentucky? With today’s technology, it might seem like the prosecutor has an iron-clad case. They might even have your license plate information.
A Lexington hit and run attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC would be happy to stand up for your rights. With a strong defense, you’ll greatly increase the odds of avoiding the harsh criminal penalties you could face under Kentucky state law.
To learn more about our legal services, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation.