Failing to Remain at the Scene of an Accident
If a driver has an accident with another vehicle or a person and they fail to stop at the scene with the intention of avoiding responsibility, they have committed the criminal offence of Failing to Stop at the Scene of an Accident, also called Hit and Run. The offence includes the failure or refusal to provide your name and address or, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, failing to offer assistance.
If you may have committed hit and run, you should contact our criminal lawyers immediately.
Often the quicker a criminal lawyer is acting for you, the better the results they can achieve. In many cases, by virtue of the fact that the driver has fled, the police may lack the necessary evidence to secure a conviction. A criminal lawyer can contact the police on behalf of the client. Anything a client, his family, friends or acquaintances say may be evidence used by the prosecution. Lawyers have privilege and cannot be compelled to provide evidence.
See Also: Your Right to Silence
We know how to defend Hit and Run cases
With years of experience dealing with hit and run allegations, our Vancouver Criminal Lawyers know how to protect clients when they are suspected of leaving the scene of an accident.
If you may be under investigation for hit and run for failing to stop at the scene of an accident, DO NOT SPEAK TO THE POLICE. Remember, you have the right to remain silent – to not speak to the police.
Contact our office right away. Our criminal lawyers are available 24 hours to assist drivers in such an emergency.
Call our Vancouver Law office now for an immediate consultation: 604-685-8889.
The Offence of Leaving the Scene of an Accident
It is a criminal offence for the operator of a vehicle to fail to stop in the case of an accident or collision with:
a person, or
if the intent is to escape either criminal or civil liability. If the accident has caused an injury, failure to offer assistance to the injured is a criminal offence as is failure to provide one’s name and address.
Under most circumstances, the maximum penalty for criminal hit and run is five years in prison. If a driver who fails to stop is aware that the accident has caused bodily harm to another, he may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Where an injury leads to death, life in prison is the maximum sentence.
The purpose of the law is to promote responsibility among drivers, to protect the public by ensuring that drivers who are involved in accidents offer assistance to those injured, and to ensure that justice can be done with respect to determinations of liability. A further effect of this law is that drivers who have committed a driving offence, such as dangerous or impaired operation of a motor vehicle, are on hand for the purpose of investigation.
Leaving the scene of an accident is widely viewed as one of the more reprehensible acts that may be committed by people of otherwise good morals. Parliament has written tough laws with harsh penalties to try and deter such conduct.
Defending Hit and Run
The difficulty often faced by the prosecution is proving beyond a reasonable doubt who was at the wheel. A Criminal Defence Lawyer can protect their client due to solicitor / client privilege. By having a Criminal Lawyer deal with the police, in many cases the prosecution will lack the necessary evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Every case is different. A Criminal Lawyer with experience in dealing with Hit and Run cases knows that the first step is to control the information that the police can obtain from their client in order to protect their client. The second step is to assess the prosecution’s case to determine the best action plan in order to get the best result for their client.