Listen to Richard C. McConathy discuss issues pertaining to defending those accused of leaving the scene of an accident.
Leaving the scene of an accident defense attorney in Dallas, TX
North Texas is filled with major highways everywhere, and cars on these roads are going to have collisions. A lot of times, people don’t have insurance, they get scared of the situation, and they leave the scene of the accident. That is a big problem. Because number one you’re going to get a postcard from the police department, or you’re going to get a telephone call from what is called a criminal investigation division detective. The first thing they’re going to want to know is if you’re driving that vehicle. If you drove away, and there was only property damage, you’re looking at a misdemeanor. If there was an injury, regardless of how slight that injury was to that person, you’re potentially looking at a felony. Now, the first thing to do when you receive that postcard or that telephone call is to not answer any questions. Immediately tell the police officer where you are located but that you would like to have your attorney present. The next thing you do is pick up the telephone and call us. We’ll immediately take over the case, speak with the detective, and in many instances we’re able to convince that detective, as long as there’s not an injury, to keep this a private civil matter and to avoid prosecution. But, if you decide to take this on yourself and bring us in later, you may have already said things that could have already damaged your case. If the prosecution has an injury they’ll be really aggressive. So, one of the key components is whether or not they can identify you as a driver. A lot of times they identify a vehicle and they identify a license plate. But, can they actually place you behind the wheel? That’s why its key in the very beginning of this case for you not to speak to the police, because you may think you’re helping yourself and say “sure, I was operating the vehicle” and now you’ve opened the door to a strong prosecution. In the majority of these cases, we find out that the victim cannot identify the driver. And that is why its key to keep your right to remain silent.