After a Los Angeles Hit and Run offense there are several steps that can occur in between the offense and final resolution of the case. For the best results of your case, this is the best time to contact an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer.
After an alleged incident, officers will contact you for an investigation for a hit and run. It could be by telephone, by mail, or in person. They will request that you report to the police department to give an official statement. This is one of the reasons why retaining a Los Angeles hit and Run attorney early on is a good idea. The attorney can often give a written statement they prepare with you, or be physically present at the time the statement is given, if in person. They will coach you and advise you on what to say and what not to say. This will help protect you because anything you say can be used against you in the case as evidence.
After the investigation, officers will send their findings to prosecutors. Prosecutors will review the investigation, evidence and facts, and determine whether it is sufficient to pursue formal charges. If formal charges are made, you will be notified and given a court date. The additional benefit of hiring a lawyer early on is that they will have already started making amends at this stage and negotiating with prosecutors. For example, they can contact the person whose property was damaged in the alleged hit and run. They can offer to make amends, pay the damages. If the aggrieved party agrees, they can prepare what is called a civil compromise. This civil compromise tells prosecutors that the aggrieved party has been paid and there are no more pending damages. This can often persuade prosecutors not to file charges. This is why it is crucial to act quickly, as your case can be dismissed before it even starts.
An arraignment is your first appearance in court. At this stage, you will enter a plea of guilty, or not guilty. If you plead guilty, your case will be completed and a sentence will be issued. If you plead not guilty, your case will proceed to the next step of the criminal process. At the arraignment you will also be given a plea bargain by prosecutors. This is an offer to plead guilty for a lesser sentence. This is another reason why a lawyer is important. Your lawyer can not only appear in court on your behalf, but they can guide you as to which option is the best for you. There is no set formula, each case is different and each Judge is different. Only an experienced legal professional can provide you with an education decision and being confident in making that decision.
If you find yourself in this situation, do not hesitate. Call a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you get the best possible results in your case!