Westchester County Hit And Run Lawyer
NEW YORK & TRAFFIC LAW (VTL) 600-1a
If you are accused of hit-and-run in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, or Rockland County, you’ll need an aggressive Westchester County hit and run attorney to represent you. The precise circumstances of a hit and run crash — and how you react — are critical in determining guilt or innocence in such cases. However, if you’re arrested for hit and run accident, you should also realize that a charge is not the equivalent of a conviction. A prosecutor still must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Call a top criminal defense attorney with the law offices of Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC if you or a loved one are charged with hit and run in Peekskill or anywhere in the region.
ALMOST ANYONE COULD BE CHARGED
Many drivers in New York could conceivably be charged at some point with hit-and-run under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 600-1a. You can be charged if you leave the scene of a minor accident where the other driver was plainly at fault; if you damage and drive away from someone’s fence, parked vehicle, commercial building, home, or other property; or if you leave the scene of an accident you caused even if you weren’t in the actual collision. If you were confused, if you weren’t aware of the accident when it happened, or if you’ve been wrongly accused, New York accident attorney Kimberly Pelesz will make sure that your side of the story is told. Whatever circumstances led to the hit and run, we can help, but the longer you wait to make the call, the less time we have to review your case, discuss it with with you, and prepare the best possible defense.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR HIT AND RUN IN NEW YORK?
When you’re involved in an accident, you must stop at the scene. You must exchange contact information with the other motorist at the scene, and if the other motorist has been injured in the accident, you must also call for help.
What you cannot do is simply drive away from the scene of the accident without stopping or getting medical help for the victim. Unfortunately, in many cases, that’s what happens. Motorists fail to stop at the scene of the accident, and discharge their legal obligations. Failure to do so can result in serious criminal charges.
Sometimes, people leave the scene of the accident because they don’t even realize that they had a duty to stay back. For instance, if you struck a car while pulling out of a parking lot, you may not have realized that driving away leaves you open to hit and run charges. In other cases that Westchester County criminal defense attorneys come across, the person doesn’t even realize that he has hit someone. Sometimes, you may get a notice from your insurance company that informs you someone is claiming you hit their vehicle and left the scene weeks prior. You may not remember whether you bumped into the car you were parked next to, and may be completely taken aback by the charges that you now face.
It’s important to note that an accident does not need to involve two vehicles in order to be classified as a hit and run. A hit and run can involve a car and a pedestrian, a car and a bicycle, or a car and someone else’s property, too. New York does not consider a car hitting an animal to be a hit and run, so there’s no need to stop or call the authorities if this is the case. If the accident does involve two vehicles, the other driver does not need to be in the car in order for it to be considered a hit and run.
If for some reason you cannot pull over right away to provide your contact information and seek medical assistance for the person that you collided with, there’s still a way to avoid criminal charges. Return to the scene of the crime as soon as possible. If the victim is no longer at the scene, you may report the accident to law enforcement and provide your insurance information to them. This will allow you to avoid criminal charges and legal troubles.
Whatever the case may be, you may be at risk of severe penalties in the case of a conviction. If your hit-and-run involved property damage and no injuries, you will be charged with a traffic infraction that could result in a jail sentence of up to 15 days.
If the hit and run accident caused moderate injury to the victim, you could face fines between $500 and $1,000 and up to a year in jail. However, if the injuries to the victim are considered to be serious instead of moderate, you may face fines between $1,000 and $5,000 and up to four years in prison. If the victim dies as a result of the hit and run collision, you could face between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines and up to seven years in prison. These are just the penalties for first time offenders. If you have multiple hit and run offenses, you may face more severe penalties in the state of New York. Car accidents are also associated with civil liability.
Besides possible fines and jail time, drivers who are responsible for hit and run accidents may face civil penalties, too. If the victim was injured or killed during the accident, the victim or the victim’s family may hire lawyers to pursue a civil suit against you in an attempt to obtain compensation via a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. This is completely separate from the criminal charges that you face. So even if you are found innocent in court, you may still face civil penalties in the form of a lawsuit.
For help fighting hit and run charges in New York, speak to a New York criminal defense attorney with experience dealing in motor vehicle accidents and driving-related offenses..
With offices in Peekskill and Poughkeepsie, Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC serves New York clients in Beacon, Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, Tarrytown, Greenburgh, Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Orange County, and Rockland County. To learn more about how a Westchester County hit and run attorney can help you, email us or call our law offices to arrange a free consultation at (914) 402-4541.