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Hit & Run

Hit & RunHit and run accidents in Tacoma, Washington

The state of Washington takes hit and run charges very seriously. Being charged or accused of a hit and run can bring many consequences and fines upon an individual.

After being charged with a hit and run, you probably have many different feelings and questions running through your mind: anger, anxiety, confusion, stress. You should not avoid the situation altogether, as that can lead to even further damage being done.

Where do I go from here? Who should I contact? Am I going to go to jail? How is this going to affect my future? My family? My job?

Since 1988, The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden has worked to help people throughout Pierce County who have been charged with criminal traffic offenses. Learn more about our firm and our attorneys and read our frequently asked questions for more information.

Our attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the strongest legal counsel possible. We pride ourselves in the relationships we have with our clients. We keep information confidential and are willing to discuss all questions and concerns that a client may have. We know how our clients feel, and we are sensitive to the fact that this is a difficult time for them.

What is the difference between attended and unattended hit and run accidents?

The two main types of hit and run accidents are attended and unattended. These two types can result in different charges, fines, and potential jail time. We will walk you through all of the necessary information and steps you should take. Your best interest is always at the forefront of our minds.

Unattended

Hit and run unattended accident occurs when the driver of a vehicle strikes another vehicle (unoccupied) or object causing damage, and the person leaves the scene without leaving any identifying information. Unattended hit and runs are considered  simple misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for these cases up to 90 days of jail time and up to a $1,000 fine.

A hit and run attended accident occurs when the driver of a vehicle strikes another vehicle with occupants, causing damage and the person leaves the scene without leaving any identifying information.  This is a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of up to 364 days of jail time and up to a $5,000 fine.

In situations where no one was injured during the accident, charges may be dropped to a misdemeanor and penalties may be lighter.  In cases of serious bodily injury to the passengers of another car, the prosecutor can refile the charge as a felony. Another, can result in the prosecutor filing felony charges.

Attended

An attended hit and run accident occurs when a person is inside their vehicle, and the vehicle is struck. This is a serious crime, and the consequences offenders face may be hefty.

If someone inside the vehicle was injured or killed, this is considered a felony. This is a severe crime, and it is treated as such in the state of Washington. There are three different types of felonies that pertain to attended hit and runs.

  • Class A Felony: This is the most severe punishment and results in up to life in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
  • Class B Felony: This occurs when someone is killed in the accident. It may result in up to 10 years of jail time and up to a $20,000 fine.
  • Class C Felony: This occurs when someone was injured in the hit and run accident. It may result in up to 5 years of jail time and up to a $10,000 fine.

While these penalties are severe, we will work with you to seek alternative consequences depending on your situation. Our goal is to help you to the best of our ability.

Penalties may vary depending on the degree of seriousness of the accident and the prior criminal history of the driver.

If alcohol or drugs were a factor in the hit and run, the charges may be different. It is possible that a person could be charged with reckless driving, DUI or DWI, vehicular homicide, and other charges. Working with an attorney is the strongest option for handling these types of situations. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden are ready to help you throughout this process.

We understand how frightening a hit and run accident is, and our mission is to create a better path for your future, following an accident.

What should you do after you’ve been charged with a hit and run?

After you’ve been charged with a hit and run accident, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately. It is possible to be accused of a hit and run without it ever happening. People may think they saw you do something, when, in reality, nothing happened. They can accuse you of this, even with no damage to either vehicle.

What you need to do to protect yourself is to contact an attorney who will work with you and your insurance company to determine what the next steps are.

It is also possible that you may have hit the vehicle without realizing it. This is a difficult situation to maneuver so you should consult an attorney to decide where you should go from here.

If you believe you have been wrongfully accused of a hit and run accident, you should not make any statements to other parties or law enforcement. You should only speak about the incident with an attorney to ensure privacy of the matter.

Your situation is unique and it will be treated as such. We give each of our clients detailed, personalized attention. We are here to answer your questions and help you get through this difficult, confusing time.

Contact an experienced hit and run attorney

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden will work with you to see that your charges are lifted or lessened. Our goal is to help you when you need it the most. We have experience with hit and run cases and we are willing to fight for your rights.

Call our office today, or fill out a consultation form to begin working with our attorneys.