A hit and run describes an unlawful act of a driver hitting a vehicle then fleeing the scene of the accident. In a civil suit, the driver usually pays for damages related to the crash. However, in Washington State, it is also a crime to hit another vehicle and flee the scene without exchanging information.
The State has two laws regarding hit and run. The severity of the charge depends on whether the driver injured another person or caused their death, and if the vehicle was attended or unattended at the time.
An “unattended” hit and run means the driver hit another motor vehicle, that was unoccupied, and then fled the scene. So the key difference is that at the time of the incident, no one was in the vehicle. Washington State law requires drivers who hit another vehicle to stop and try to locate the owner of the other vehicle to exchange information.
A defendant is accused of hit and run attended, when there is a driver in the other motor vehicle. A defendant convicted of an attended hit and run will face time in prison, instead of jail. The defendant can face up to 5 years in prison if the other driver is injured in the accident. If the victim dies because of the hit and run, then the defendant may spend up to 10 years in prison. If no one is injured or dies, then it’s considered a gross misdemeanor with at least 90 days in jail.
A driver convicted of misdemeanor hit and run unattended may face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.
No, a conviction for an unattended hit and run does not result in a suspension of the defendant’s license. But, a convicted defendant may have to pay for high risk car insurance, which costs significantly more than normal insurance.
Yes. Contact a Washington Lawyer to determine how to proceed with your case.
Last Modified: 06-25-2018 06:46 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.