Fairfax Hit & Run Defense Lawyers
Understanding Hit & Run Charges in Virginia
Hit-and-run charges not only carry serious consequences upon conviction but also come with a significant social stigma. If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who can fight to limit your exposure to consequences and move you toward a successful resolution in the most efficient manner possible.
At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, our Fairfax hit-and-run defense attorneys have more than four decades of experience protecting clients as they navigate the criminal justice system. We understand the stress that accompanies criminal charges. Our goal is to educate our clients on the legal process and inform them of any possible challenges they might face along the way. We are ready to fight aggressively for you from the moment you call until the moment your case is resolved.
Arrested for a hit-and-run in Fairfax or Prince William County? Call Lawrence, Smith & Gardner at (833) 460-2848 or contact us online today for a free consultation.
What Is a Hit & Run?
Under Virginia law, anyone who is involved in a motor vehicle accident is required to stop, identify themselves, provide contact information (if necessary), and render reasonable aid to others involved in the crash. If no one else was involved in the accident, but someone else’s property was damaged, you must make reasonable efforts to locate the property’s owner or, if you cannot locate the owner, to leave a note with your name and contact information.
It doesn’t matter who is at fault for the accident or how it happened; if you are involved in a crash, you must stop. Failure to do so is known as “fleeing the scene of the accident,” or committing a hit-and-run.
How Are Hit & Runs Charged?
A hit-and-run accident may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crash. Additionally, there are several different classes of misdemeanors and felonies, each carrying their own set of penalties.
Typically, hit-and-runs are charged in the following ways in Virginia:
- Class 4 Misdemeanor: A hit-and-run may be charged as a Class 4 misdemeanor if the incident resulted in damage to unattended property and the value of the damage is less than $250. Both drivers and passengers over the age of 15 can be charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor in this type of hit-and-run.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: The offense may be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor if the property involved was attended and the damage amounted to less than $1,000, or if the property involved was unattended and the damage amounted to between $250 and $1,000. A passenger over the age of 15 can be charged equally to the driver if they fail to report the incident.
- Class 6 Felony: If the hit-and-run accident resulted in bodily injury or death, a passenger who is at least 16 years old can be charged with a Class 6 felony for failing to report the accident.
- Class 5 Felony: The driver who caused the hit-and-run accident can be charged with a Class 5 felony if the crash resulted in bodily injury, death, or property damage valued at more than $1,000, regardless of whether the property was attended or unattended.
The driver or passenger over the age of 15 involved in any accident has 24 hours to report the crash; failure to do so may constitute a hit-and-run, and the driver or passenger could face associated charges.
What Are the Penalties for a Hit & Run in Virginia?
Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime in Virginia, and the consequences of a conviction are severe. The exact penalties you could face depend on the circumstances of the incident, such as whether anyone was injured or killed in the crash. Generally speaking, hit-and-run accidents involving only unattended property carry lesser charges and penalties than those involving attended property, other people, and injuries or deaths.
Possible penalties for a hit-and-run in Virginia include:
- A fine of up to $250 for a Class 4 misdemeanor
- Up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500 for a Class 1 misdemeanor
- One to five years in prison and fines not exceeding $2,500 for a Class 6 felony
- A prison sentence of 1 to 10 years and fines up to $2,500 for a Class 5 felony
In addition to these criminal penalties, you will receive points on your driving record, leading to increased insurance premiums and other consequences. You may also have your driver’s license suspended or revoked.
How Our Hit & Run Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one has been charged with fleeing the scene of an accident or failing to report an accident, it is crucial that you seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. The consequences of a conviction can have a direct impact on nearly every facet of your life. You cannot afford to go it alone; instead, trust your case to the Fairfax hit-and-run defense attorneys at Lawrence, Smith & Gardner.
Since 1982, our firm has provided highly personalized and aggressive legal representation to those accused of all types of crimes, including serious traffic violations, felony traffic offenses, and reckless driving misdemeanors. We have helped thousands of clients not only protect their rights but also their futures by avoiding the harsh consequences of a criminal conviction. We invite you to learn how our firm can help you with your hit-and-run defense today.
Schedule a free consultation by calling (833) 460-2848 or by contacting us online using the secure form here on our website.
At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.
Dear Mr. Brillantine and Mr. Smith,
Thank you so much for your time and effort in the past several weeks. I am forever grateful for your help! Thank you.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
I just wanted to drop you a note to express my thanks and appreciation for your professional and courteous help and service. The efficient way you and your staff handled my case, resulted in less anxiety for me.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
We just want to thank you for all your help in our son’s recent traffic case. Things were looking extremely bleak. However, thanks to your knowledge of the law, persistence, ability to talk to people, hard work and grace … What a relief it has been. We also appreciate the courtesy and professionalism of your wonderful staff.- Previous Client
I am consumed with awe for your legal maneuvering to assist me in court yesterday. Thank you for making it possible for me to continue with my life.- Previous Client
To Ron Smith,
I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for representing me earlier this month when I went back to court to obtain my restricted license. I appreciate the courtesy and professionalism from you and your staff and under no circumstances hope to ever need your services for a serious matter like that again.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for all your help. Please extend my thanks also to Martin for his patient support of an incoherent client, as well as to Lisa for her many phone calls. Thanks for that usually elusive gift … a second chance.- Previous Client
I can’t thank you enough for everything. If it weren’t for you I would be in a world of hurt today. I owe you so many thanks. If you ever need anything!! Please pass along all my thanks to your staff and co-workers. Please let Lisa I’m so sorry you missed her lunch too. Thanks again Ron you ROCK!- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for your help with my recent difficult situation. I was amazed at your skill and knowledge of the court system, and appreciative of your insight in these matters. I can look back on this experience as a valuable lesson and continue on with my life. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.- Previous Client