If I’ve been charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and driving left of center, how should I plead?

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If I’ve been charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and driving left of center, how should I plead?

I was not feeling well, under no alcohol/drug influence except generic cold meds, and did not realize there had been an accident until a few minutes later after hearing my car rattle. I pulled over and saw the damage. I went home and did not call the cops. The next day I was pulled over and ticketed. I am unemployed so cannot pay the fine or hire a lawyer. I simply don’t know what to plead. Guilty because according to the police report I am? Not guilty because it wasn’t deliberate? No contest because I’m somewhere in the middle? I have 2 public intox in this county within the last year and a 7 year old DWI.

Asked on December 18, 2011 under Accident Law, Arkansas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving left of center, those criminal charges are misdemenaors where if convicted, you could be fined, jailed or both. Worse yet, your driving privileges may be suspended and your auto insurance premiums will increase.

Given the negative outcome concerning your situation, I recommend that you go to the public defender's office in the county where you were ticketed to see if you qualify for court appointed counsel since you apparently cannot afford private counsel.

I would hold off making any plea until you consult with some attorney about the situation you are now in.


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