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Hit and Run Lawyer in Wheeling
At Mountaineer Criminal Law Group, we understand the severity of hit-and-run charges in West Virginia. If you find yourself responsible for an accident in Wheeling and failed to stop or provide your information, you could face serious consequences. That’s why it’s crucial to have a Wheeling WV OVI lawyer by your side.
Our West Virginia traffic lawyer possesses extensive knowledge and experience in defending hit-and-run cases. Whether you’ve been wrongfully charged or need guidance in navigating the legal process, we are here to help.
Difference of Hit and Skip and Hit and Run
According to the regulations in every state, when you are involved in an accident, it is mandatory to stop and provide your details to the victim or the on-duty police officer. Failure to do so is referred to as a hit-and-run offense. In West Virginia, similar terms such as hit and skip or tap and run are used to describe this offense.
Failing to Stop After an Accident
In compliance with the West Virginia Revised Code (ORC) 4549.02, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you must stop at the scene. However, merely stopping is not sufficient. You must remain at the scene and provide your name, address, and vehicle registration details or the name and address of the car owner to the other party involved, which could be the victim, the owner of another vehicle, or the police.
In cases where the other person is too injured to collect your information, ORC 4549.02(A)(2) requires you to notify law enforcement and provide your details to them. Additionally, you must stay at the scene until the police arrive or until you are transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
If the accident involves an unoccupied vehicle or property, you must write down your information and leave it conspicuously in the vehicle or on the property.
Failure to comply with this law and leaving the scene prematurely without providing your details can result in hit-and-run charges. In such situations, it is imperative to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable Wheeling WV criminal lawyer. Unfortunately, wrongful charges do occur. For instance, you may have accidentally hit a fence or a mailbox and found no damage. In cases like these, where you are wrongfully charged, an experienced West Virginia traffic lawyer can provide the representation you need to protect your rights.
Penalties for Hit and Run
Under ORC 4549.02(B), the consequences for Hit and Run are comprehensively detailed. Failure to stop at the scene of the accident results in a first-degree misdemeanor charge – punishable by six months of jail time and a $1000 fine. If the accident causes serious injury and you flee, it is considered a fifth or fourth-degree felony. Upon conviction, a fifth-degree felony carries a penalty of 6 to 12 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $2500. For more severe cases, a fourth-degree felony will lead to 6-18 months of jail time and a fine of up to $5000. If the accident results in death, it becomes a third or second-degree felony. A third-degree felony imposes a sentence of 9 months to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. In the case of a second-degree felony, the penalty is 2-8 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000. If you were aware of the fatality and still chose to flee, you will face charges of a higher felony.
In ORC 4549.03, it is explicitly stated that if you are involved in an accident that damages realty or personal property adjacent to the road, you must stop, provide your details, and inform the property owner. Failure to do so within 24 hours will result in Hit-and-Run charges, classified as a first-degree misdemeanor if convicted.
Connect With Wheeling Traffic Lawyer
Facing these criminal charges can be a challenging and confusing experience. Contact Mountaineer Criminal Law Group, and our experienced Wheeling WV criminal lawyer will navigate the charges, ensuring the best possible outcome.
To learn more, call us today at (304) 381-3656.
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