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Tacoma Hit and Run Lawyers

Being Charged With a Hit and Run

If a driver collides with another vehicle, Washington State law requires that they stop their vehicle as close to the scene of the accident as possible and notify the owner of the collision, whether by speaking to them or by leaving a written note in a conspicuous location. Failure to do so is considered a hit and run offense, which carries legal consequences.

If you have been charged with a hit and run, call the team at Daryl Graves Law, PLLC at (253) 217-4849 for a free consultation.

The four levels of hit and run charges include:

  • Unattended hit and run
  • Hit and run of an attended vehicle
  • Injury-causing hit and run
  • Hit and run that causes a fatality

Unattended Hit and Run

Striking an unattended vehicle is the most common type of hit and run case. This commonly occurs in parking lots and neighborhoods, in which a driver hits a parked car and then leaves without finding the owner to notify them, or leaving a note.

An unattended hit and run is considered a simple misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If convicted, drivers with this type of hit and run charge will not have their licenses suspended.

Hit and Run of an Attended Vehicle

When a driver collides with an occupied vehicle but does not cause any bodily harm, this type of hit and run is categorized by Washington law as a gross misdemeanor. This crime is considered more serious than an unattended hit and run.

Drivers convicted of a hit and run of an attended vehicle face up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Injury-Causing Hit and Run

When a driver hits another vehicle in an injury accident, he or she is required by RCW 46.52.020 to:

  • Stop and pull over (trying not to obstruct traffic more than necessary)
  • Exchange information if possible
  • Remain at the scene of the accident to offer any reasonable aid to an injured person, such as making arrangements to get that person to a physician or hospital if necessary

If a driver flees the scene without performing the above duties, it is considered a felony offense. A hit-and-run accident that causes harm to an occupant of the other vehicle is considered a class C felony. In Washington State, class C felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Hit and Run that Causes a Fatality

When a driver flees the scene of an accident in which an occupant of the other vehicle was fatally injured, the crime will be charged as a class B felony, which carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

The penalties a hit-and-run driver faces are governed by the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines. The guidelines provide a sentencing range for judges that take several factors into consideration, including the severity of the crime and the defendant’s criminal record.

Consulting a Defense Attorney

The consequence of conviction for a hit and run can be severe, especially if they are compounded by other criminal charges such as licensing and traffic offenses. If you have been charged with a hit and run accident in Tacoma, it’s imperative to speak to a local defense attorney for help navigating the Washington legal system.

For a defense attorney in the Tacoma area, contact Daryl Graves Law at (253) 217-4849 to set up a case evaluation.

Why Hire Our Firm?

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“I feel blessed to have hired the Law Offices of Daryl L. Graves to represent me. From day one, Daryl informed me of my options and was always honest and upfront. Daryl and his staff always returned my calls and answered every question. Daryl's 30+ years of experience was worth every penny. I will refer everyone in need of a DUI/criminal defense and injury attorney to Mr. Graves”

- C.F., Fircrest, WA
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