Hit and Run Washington State

Hit and Run | Hit & Run | Washington Criminal Defense | Callahan Law

Hit and Run – There are two different types of Hit and Run Charges in Washington State:  Hit and Run “Attended” and Hit and Run “Unattended” both laws apply to vehicle, pedestrian, and property accidents and is considered a criminal offense.

Hit and Run Attended

In Washington State, leaving the scene of an accident involving a pedestrian or a person in another vehicle may result in the person being charged with “hit and run attended,” a criminal offense. Drivers have a duty to stop after a collision involving another person, to remain at the scene, to render any aid needed, and to exchange contact and insurance information.

Penalties:

The penalties for a gross misdemeanor hit and run attended conviction include up to $5,000 in fines, up to 364 days in jail, and a one-year license suspension.

The more serious crime of felony hit and run attended occurs when the person in the other vehicle is injured or has died. The penalty includes a fine of up to $20,000, license revocation and jail or a prison sentence from 3 months to 5 years, depending on the driver’s criminal history and other factors.

When an Accident Becomes a Hit and Run Attended

A person may be charged with “hit and run attended,” when:

  1. they drive a vehicle that is in an accident,
  2. resulting in the injury or death of another person, or
  3. resulting in damage to a vehicle attended by another person, and the driver knew he or she had been in an accident
  4. but failed to:
    • render aid,
    • remain at the scene, and provide their contact information.
    • provide their contact information.

A driver is relieved of these duties if the accident caused them to suffer serious injury or incapacitation. The driver is also not responsible if they had no knowledge that an impact occurred with another vehicle.


Felony Hit and Run AttendedHit and Run | Criminal Defense | Callahan Law

The crime of felony hit and run attended may be charged if a driver:

  • is in an accident,
  • knows he or she was in an accident,
  • failed to remain and render any necessary aid and provide contact information, and
  • the accident resulted in injury or death to any person.

A felony hit and run attended conviction is a class B felony if any other person involved in the accident dies. This is punishable up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

If an accident involving injury results in a felony hit and run attended conviction it is a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

There’s no time to waste.  Call us today at (206) 866-6739 or complete our online form now.

Hit and Run Attended Laws

The law in Washington on Hit and Run Attended is a blend of legislation and court decisions. The Revised Code of Washington, RCW 46.52.020, defines the crime and several Washington State court cases have interpreted the statute. If the prosecutor’s charging document references only the statutory language and does not incorporate the caselaw element of knowledge, it may be defective. An attorney knowledgeable in defending hit and run charges, who understands the statute and caselaw is the key to your defense.

Consequences:

Consequences for a conviction of hit and run attended depend upon whether the crime is a felony or a gross misdemeanor. A felony hit and run is punishable as a class C or class B felony. The class C felony results from injury to another person and carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If anyone involved in the accident dies, it is a class B felony, with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

For the gross misdemeanor hit and run attended, the penalty is up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. All hit and run attended convictions carry at least a one-year license revocation. Other consequences include a criminal conviction on your record that may affect employment and housing opportunities, increases in auto insurance rates, and the inconvenience of being on probation with the court for several years.

Courts will not grant “restitution” for the crime of hit and run attended because the crime is that the driver involved did not stop, remain, render necessary aid and leave contact information–thus there is no “victim” of the crime of hit and run attended.

Gross Misdemeanor:

A gross misdemeanor hit and run attended is committed if a driver:

  • is in an accident,
  • knows he or she was in an accident, and
  • failed to remain and render any necessary aid and provide contact information.

“Contact information” includes the driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number, and vehicle license number.

If any person involved in the collision suffered injury, the gross misdemeanor may be charged as a felony hit and run attended.


Hit and Run Washington State – UnattendedHit and Run Unattended | Criminal Defense | Callahan Law

In Washington State, when a driver knowingly collides with another vehicle or property, the driver must stop and notify the vehicle or property owner of the collision. With a parked car or property, this may be done by simply posting a note in a conspicuous place providing the colliding driver’s contact and insurance information. Any driver that knowingly collides with another vehicle or property, such as a fence, landscaping, or other property must leave such written notice in a conspicuous place.

Penalties:

Hit and run unattended is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. There is no license suspension for an unattended hit and run conviction.

Often, a hit and run unattended is handled by a civil “compromise of misdemeanor” which allows the charge to be dismissed provided the victim of the crime signs a notarized document that they have been reimbursed for their damages by the driver and/or the driver’s insurance agency.

When an Accident Becomes a Hit and Run Unattended

The crime of “hit and run unattended” may be charged when the person:

  1. drove a vehicle that collided with an unattended vehicle or other property,
    • resulting in damage, and
  2. the driver knew he or she had collided with a vehicle or other property
    • but failed to:
    • stop immediately, and
    • provide their contact information or leave a note providing that information in a conspicuous place for the vehicle or property owner.

A driver who has suffered serious injury or incapacitation is NOT relieved of these duties as are drivers charged with hit and run attended. Also, it is not a defense that the hit and run happened on private property.

Hit and Run Washington State | Callahan Law, P.S., Inc.There’s no time to waste.  Call us today at (206) 866-6739 or complete our online form now.

Laws:

RCW 46.52.010 defines the crime of hit and run unattended. The charging document must state that the person knowingly committed the crime, otherwise the charges may be dismissed.

Consequences of Hit and Run Unattended

If convicted of hit and run unattended, a person faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. There is no restitution required to be paid to compensate the victim for the damage. There is no license suspension or revocation following a conviction for hit and run unattended.


What Happens if you Hit and Run? | Callahan Law, P.S., Inc.What Happens if you Hit and Run?

If you have been involved in a hit and run, you need legal advice right away. Our skilled traffic defense attorneys at Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. are experienced and knowledgeable in defending those accused of hit and run. Call us today for a free initial case evaluation.

 

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