Hit and Run Attorney in Phoenix

Joshua Davidson - Phoenix Criminal Lawyer

You could be facing "Leaving the Scene of an Accident" or "Hit and Run" charges if you have been accused of being involved in an accident and failing to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene, or as close to the accident scene as possible, and exchange information and assistance – regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident. Under Arizona law, there are several legal obligations that a person has if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. These obligations can vary depending on the type of accident.

For example, of you are involved in a collision with an unattended vehicle or a guardrail, street sight or other fixture on the street, the law requires that you stop and notify the owner of the other car or property of the incident, or leave a note with your name and address. In other more serious cases where someone is hurt or killed as a result of an accident, you are further required to "render reasonable assistance" to the injured person. Such assistance could include calling 911 to request an ambulance or otherwise securing medical assistance for the injured person.

The penalties for a "Leaving the Scene of an Accident" can vary greatly depending on whether anyone was injured or killed, whether the other car was occupied and who was at fault for the collision. The least serious offenses are typically treated as misdemeanors which ordinarily carry a possible jail term, probation, fine and license suspension. Felony convictions for hit and run in Arizona are subject to much harsher penalties. For example, if a person is charged with leaving a scene of an injury accident for which they were at fault, the prosecution will ordinarily seek a conviction for a class two felony. In addition to a lengthy prison term (which would have to run consecutively to the sentence from any other convictions arising from that incident, a mandatory driver's license revocation could also be imposed.

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Fortunately, an experienced former prosecutor may be able to assist if you are facing a hit and run charge. There are several potential defenses that can be asserted when facing these charges. Although each case needs to be individually investigated and evaluated for potential defenses, one of the most common defenses used in a hit and run case is the "mistake of fact" defense. Because the law requires proof that the person knew that they were involved in a collision, many leaving the scene cases can be successfully defended if it can be demonstrated that you simply didn't realize that you struck another car or object. In other cases, a person may be involved in a collision while driving through an unsafe part of town and believed that someone attempting to harm them intentionally struck them in an attempt to get them out of their car. A defense to a hit and run case may exist if we can establish that concern for your safety reasonably prevented you from immediately stopping your car under the circumstances.

If you are facing hit and run charges or believe that you may be the subject of a leaving the scene of an accident investigation, contact attorney Joshua Davidson today to discuss your case.

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