Hit and Run crashes, and arrests, on the rise

Sean C O’Halloran
Hit and Run
Criminal Defense
Main Office: Ft. Myers

December 2019

Why do so many people simply take off?

A lot of the cases involve drivers who are impaired and they do not want to run the risk of getting charged with DUI. Many people do not have a valid license or are on probation or are driving without insurance or a valid registration. They are willing to take the risk later of getting charged with leaving the scene of an accident rather than remain there and get arrested for sure. I have heard that 25% of all crashes involve a hit and run situation. If there is not injury and simply property damage some people feel that the downside of remaining outweighs the possible consequences of staying on the scene. That may be a calculated gamble when it comes to a minor accident but if the accident involve serious injury or death, they are putting themselves at risk of a prison sentence.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people that simply panic. They may be an older senior citizen who did not even realize their vehicle scraped or struck another vehicle. It may be a juvenile driver who is more afraid of his parents than the police. Over the years, we have defended all types of hit and run cases. If the case involves a death (a homicide), then it is critical for you to talk to an experienced criminal lawyer before speaking to a deputy or highway patrol investigator. Often, the State may have no “wheel witness” and if you confess, you may be supplying the missing link when it comes to a successful prosecution.
You have the right to remain silent. If you are not in custody yet, the police do not have to advise you of that right. You have the right to an attorney and if you have been involved in a serious crash, you need to “lawyer up ASAP”. These are important rights you should not give up.A good lawyer can point you in the right direction. Think long and hard before coming forward without talking to a lawyer first.

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