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.
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.
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.
The crime of felony hit and run attended may be charged if a driver:
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Hit and Run - Attended
The penalties for a gross misdemeanor hit and run attended conviction include up to:
When an accident becomes a hit and run
A person may be charged with “hit and run attended,” when:
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.
Hit and Run - Unattended
Hit and run unattended is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by:
There is no license suspension for an unattended hit and run conviction.
When an accident becomes a hit and run Unattended
The crime of “hit and run unattended” may be charged when the person:
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.
Felony Hit and Run
A Felony Hit and Run Attended conviction is a Class B Felony, punishable by:
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.
When an accident becomes a Felony Hit and run
The crime of “felony hit and run” may be charged when the person:
After any accident occurs, whether it involves an unattended vehicle or property, or an attended vehicle (one with a person inside), Washington State drivers are required to follow certain procedures.
If a driver hits an unattended car or other property, he or she must:
If a driver hits a car that is “attended,” that is, occupied by people, the driver must:
If a driver is in an accident that causes injury or death to another person, he or she must:
If a driver fails to stop after causing another person’s death, he or she may be charged with a class B felony Hit and Run Attended. Leaving the scene of an accident if a person is injured is classified as a class C felony. Both crimes are punished with prison time and fines.
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Linda M. Callahan
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