The police may have contacted you using a Hit and Run Notice in the mail
A Hit and Run Notice in the mail is sent out to registered owners of a car involved in an accident regardless if they were driving or not. These letters will arrive at the current residence address or mailing address of the vehicle owner involved in the accident.
What happens when I get into an Accident and Drive Away?
When someone gets into an accident, it si required by law to stop and is most cases they often call the police to report it . However this is not always the case because many accidents are minor and people would rather move on for a variety of reasons. IE Not wanting to get insurance involved or in a hurry and do not have time to do an accident report. In other cases a driver will not want to stop at the scene because they are undocumented or may have alcohol in their system and do not want to put up with being arrested.
When this happens witnesses will write down the license plates of the the vehicles involved and pass it onto the police officer taking the report.
Hit and Run Notice in the mail gets sent out everyday
If you don’t stop at red lights or crosswalks, you might be involved in an traffic accident. And even if you do stop at the accident scene, you might not be able to identify the person who was in the ran over you or it may seem confusing as the other party is driving away and does not care. These things happen so much that it is impossible for the an officer to chase down every hit and run traffic accident which means they will devote their time to only the most serious ones involving bodily injury.
The Hit and Run investigation is still going on
Often in these types of cases (minor) no injury. The police send out Hit and Run Notice in the mail to the driver asking them to come in to give a statement. This is called a fishing because the registered owner of the car is asked to come into the station with a driver license and give a statement to a police officer.
However, giving a statement is not always within the best interest of the registered owner especially if he or she was driving. In addition, even if they were not driving it is probably still not within their interest or family members interest to give a statement as they will pressured into pointing out who was driving the vehicle. When this happens the registered owner of the vehicle will be pressured into letting the officer know who was using the car and forced to give up the info.
Actual Knowledge of an accident is not an Issue for the violation
These things always play out the same way when a driver thinks he can outfox a law enforcement officer. The driver will come in saying that there was a lack of knowledge and he or she only felt a bump and did not see anything and kept driving. However, once they admit to being the driver (identification) behind the wheel at the time and place then they will be arrested and given a criminal citation
Responding to the Hit and Run Notice in the Mail can get you into more trouble
In addition, the officer may also ask you to bring in the car. The police officers do not have any legal right to search the vehicle without a warrant. However if you bring it in and they confirm it is the car involved in the collision then they will have justification for holding it as evidence after the vehicle identification. This is where it gets sticky because they will give you an impression that they will not release the car unless you cooperate with them. In other words, you will lost the car unless you wither confess to driving or point out who was. When this happens then you will be given a criminal citation.
Also if they find anything illegal inside the vehicle they may arrest you and impound the vehicle. This means the vehicle will be taken away from the driver and stored at the local police station or their tow yard until the driver gets a release from them. As this happens tow fees will accumulate at approximately 50 dollars a day.
If you were driving then you will want an attorney who works with hit and runs on your case. If this is an emergency (The officer knocked on your door, contacting family members, or is blowing up your phone) then you can call me directly at 714-589-3063
Why Is It Bad For Me to Say What Happened But OK for my Attorney to tell them the same thing?
Under the rules of evidence if you admitted to driving then it will be used against you. Your attorney is not admitting to you driving, he or she is simply saying that the proof is not there even if they think you were driving.
I Committed a Hit and Run How Do I Get My Car Fixed and Avoid A Criminal Charge?
You will need to navigate the insurance waters carefully. Many people trying to get away with a hit and run end up committing insurance fraud. It is important to not to lie and say someone else was driving or your car was stolen.
The Police are calling me on the phone and left me a voice mail
If this police are calling you then you need an attorney to stop the hit and run investigation process.