If you have been charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run, it is a good idea to be proactive in getting those charges dismissed, or reduced, rather than being reactive.
What do I mean about being proactive versus reactive? People will often receive a letter or visit from the police department stating that they would like to talk to the person regarding a possible Hit and Run. It is generally after the fact that officers may investigate a hit and run after it has been reported. Waiting until the point that officers contact you to respond to the allegations can possibly hurt you later in the case, if charges are filed. This is what I mean by being reactive. You are reacting to actions taken by the police department.
In contrast, being proactive means taking action before you are contacted by authorities. The first and foremost step you must take in this situation is to contact and retain a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney. This lawyer has extensive experience with Hit and Run cases, and the courthouses and police departments in Los Angeles. The lawyer will immediately begin to take steps to work on your case with only one goal in mind; to get you case dismissed or in the very least, reduced. The following are strategic steps an attorney will take to achieve their goal.
- Psychological Strategy over an Angry Victim
Oftentimes, a person who has been injured or whose property has been damaged is angry. One of the first goals for an attorney is to psychologically win over that angry victim. By reaching out and making amends on your behalf, the attorney helps calm down the angry victim. By paying for costs and expenses, and making amends, the angry victim may no longer have a reason to be upset or angry. If the victim is then willing to agree to a Civil Compromise, the prosecutors may opt not to file charges after all. A civil compromise states to the officers and prosecutors that all amends have been made and there is no need to file additional charges.
- Working with Officers
The officers are the first ones who see the possible charges and determine whether it will be forwarded to prosecutors. If officers never forward the possible case to prosecutors, no charges will ever be filed. This is why it is important to immediately talk to officers, who are the first line of the process. An experienced attorney has many contacts with the various police departments in Los Angeles and knows who to call to discuss the case. An attorney will discuss the facts of the case with the officer, and provide an explanation as to why the person possibly being charged acted in the manner that they did and argue the defenses available, pointing out weaknesses in the officers case. Essentially, they will make an argument as to why the case should not be filed. This may also require voluntarily going into the police department to give a statement, and opening an insurance claim proactively.
- Changing Judge’s Perspective
Lastly, proactively taking steps to change the prosecutor and the Judge’s opinion when the case has already been filed is often a successful way for an attorney to approach the case. The attorney will work to get a Civil compromise from the victim and present that to the court. They will also get letters of recommendation. They will encourage the person charged to show a remorseful attitude to the Court, and take responsibility, while still highlighting defenses and weaknesses in the case.
If you find yourself in a situation where you may be charged with a Hit and Run, contact a lawyer immediately. Their deliberate proactive steps may make the difference between the case being filed and a dismissal!