If you have been arrested on a hit and run charge in the state of Ohio, you are probably worried about your future. Will your arrest cause you to lose your driver’s license? Will you end up spending some time in jail or prison?
Of course, before you can face any of these punishments, you must be convicted of committing the crime. Since the prosecution will be working diligently to make that happen, you will need to fight back hard to improve your chances of clearing your name. You can start this fight by hiring an experienced hit and run defense attorney – like those at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton.
Contact our Dayton, OH law firm to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment. We’re always available to take your call, so reach out to us for assistance today.
How a Suhre & Associates, LLC Attorney Can Help You with Your Ohio Hit and Run Case
When you hire one of our skilled Dayton criminal defense lawyers to represent you, we will:
Gather Exculpatory Evidence
As soon as you are arrested, law enforcement officers will begin gathering evidence to prove your guilt. In some cases, they may even start this process before you are taken into custody. The best way to fight back against this is to find some evidence that shows you could not possibly have committed the crime.
Our Dayton criminal defense lawyers have been gathering evidence on behalf of hit and run clients for years. We know exactly where to look to find the proof you need to clear your name.
Negotiate with the Prosecution
Prosecuting attorneys often offer deals designed to entice you to plead guilty to your charges without going to trial. In many cases, however, their initial offers tend to be quite harsh. To make it more reasonable, some negotiation is usually required.
The experienced lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC have an in-depth understanding of this negotiation process. We know which buttons to press to make the prosecution lower their demands and agree to a more lenient sentence. You can count on us to work tirelessly as we fight to negotiate the best possible outcome in your criminal hit and run case.
Represent You in Court
In some cases, the prosecutor will be unwilling to offer a fair plea bargain. If this happens to you, your case will almost certainly go to court – where you will need a skilled trial attorney to represent you.
Of course, our lawyers have worked on hundreds of criminal trials in the past. As such, we know how to craft arguments that can convince a jury that you are not guilty of the crimes that you have been accused of. Though we cannot guarantee results, we can promise that you will receive the best possible courtroom defense when you work with us.
The experienced attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC have worked on countless hit and run cases over the years. If you would like to hire us to help you with yours, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We would be more than happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges in greater detail.
Understanding Ohio’s Duty to Stop Laws
Section 4549.02 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision you must provide the following information to the other party or the police:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your insurance information
- Your license plate number, and
- The name and address of the owner of the vehicle (if it does not belong to you).
If the other vehicle is not currently occupied, you are permitted to leave this information on a note. However, you must make sure that the document is securely attached to a conspicuous area on the car.
If the other vehicle was occupied and the other party was injured in the accident, you are legally obligated to notify emergency services. You are also required to remain on the scene until the police or paramedics arrive. Failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a hit and run charge.
Criminal Punishments for Hit and Run Convictions in Ohio
In the state of Ohio, the punishments handed out for hit and run convictions depend on the damage caused by the accident:
Penalties for Hit and Run Car Accidents That Caused No Injuries
Fleeing from an accident where nobody was injured is generally treated as a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio.
- Up to six months in jail, and
- A fine of up to $500.
Your license can also be suspended for anywhere between six months and three years.
Penalties for Hit and Run Car Accidents That Caused a Serious Injury
Leaving the scene of an accident that seriously injured another party is usually classified as a fourth-degree felony in Ohio. Penalties for this offense can include:
- Up to one year in prison, and
- A fine of up to $2,500.
You may also have your license suspended for between six months and three years after a conviction.
Penalties for Hit and Run Car Accidents That Caused a Death
Causing the death of another individual in a hit and run accident is treated extremely seriously. This offense is generally classified as a third-degree felony. Punishments can include:
- Up to five years in prison, and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Your license may also be suspended for up to three years, or as little as six months, after a hit and run conviction.
No matter which of these three categories your hit and run charge falls into, the attorneys of Suhre & Associates, LLC can help. All you need to do is reach out to us to set up an initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable Dayton hit and run defense lawyers.
Potential Civil Issues After a Hit and Run Conviction
Being criminally convicted of a hit and run offense may also make it easier for the other party and their personal injury attorneys to file a civil lawsuit against you. Through their suit, they are likely to seek compensation to cover medical bills, property damage, and other expenses that occurred as a result of the accident.
The best way to minimize the risk of civil litigation is to clear your name in criminal court. Even though criminal cases and civil proceedings are unrelated, a positive result in your criminal case can be a huge help. The lawyers here at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton, OH may be able to help you do just that. Contact us today to have your case thoroughly reviewed by a member of our legal team.
Why Do Drivers Flee Accident Scenes?
Having worked as car accident lawyers for many years, we understand that there are a variety of reasons why a driver may decide to flee the scene of an accident.
Some of the most common reasons include:
- Not realizing the accident occurred
- Fear of consequences
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving with a suspended or invalid license
- Driving while uninsured or underinsured
- Having an outstanding warrant, and
- Being on probation.
No matter what caused you to leave the scene of an accident, our knowledgeable attorneys can help. To discuss your case in detail and learn more about our services, please give us a call to set up a free consultation.
Potential Defenses to Ohio Hit and Run Charges
Being arrested on a hit and run charge can be terrifying. However, with the right defense strategy, that charge does not necessarily have to become a conviction.
Some of the most effective defenses that our legal team has seen or used over the years include:
Not Knowing That You Caused an Accident
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your hit and run case, it may be possible to argue that you were not aware that you injured someone or caused damage to property. It becomes quite a bit easier to use this defense if there is video evidence or eyewitness testimony which shows that you stopped your vehicle after the accident and looked around for signs of damage or injury, but were unable to find any.
If this argument is successful, it may be possible to get your hit and run charges dropped entirely. However, you may still face some lesser traffic violations.
Not Being the Driver
If your car was stolen or was being driven by another party at the time of the accident, you cannot be convicted under a hit and run charge. Of course, if you want to make sure that your charges are dropped, it is always helpful to provide the police with evidence that you were not driving when the accident happened. Witness testimony, surveillance camera footage, and electronic records can all be helpful in establishing this defense.
Having an Emergency Situation
In some situations, it may be possible to argue that emergency circumstances rendered you unable to stop and wait for the police to arrive on the scene. If, for instance, you ding a car while driving to the hospital with a friend or family member who is having a heart attack, our attorneys may be able to have your hit and run charges dropped.
It is worth noting, however, that you may still be financially responsible for the damage to the other party’s vehicle in such an instance.
Call Our Dayton Hit and Run Defense Attorneys For Help Today
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we understand that a hit and run charge can change your life forever. Your future is in jeopardy. We’re here to help you protect it. Give our Dayton hit and run defense lawyers a call to discuss your case. We’ll listen to your side of the story, explain your rights, and do our best to answer the questions that you may have. The state will get started on its case against you right away, so don’t hesitate to call us for legal advice now.