What to do if my son was accused in a hit and run in a parking lot?

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What to do if my son was accused in a hit and run in a parking lot?

At the time of the accident he was at work. His time card reflex that and his boss and co-worker can verify this also. His truck has no damage to it, except for a small dent that was caused by a rear-ender 2 years ago. The vehical that was hit by someone has significant damage – entire front end is smashed in, hood, grill, panels. A lot of damage. We have taken his truck to the insurance claims department and filed a claim for investigation. Also, to the police department for them to look at it. What do we do next? Do we hire an attorney or get a public defender? Do we get sworn statements from boss and co-workers?

Asked on April 3, 2013 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) You hire an attorney if you are sued and your insurer does not pay for or provide a lawyer.

2) You hirer a criminal defense attorney specifically if charges are pressed against your son or if the police want to question him. A public defender is only available for those who simply *cannot*--even if it is great hardship--afford their own lawyer. If your son works and owns his own truck, he is highly unlikely to be poor enough to qualify for a public defender, so you will likely have to hire a defense attorney.

3) You getting "sworn" statements will not help--they will be considered hearsay in almost all cases. If there is a criminal case or lawsuit against them, you have to depose witnesses (get their testimony taken down verbatim by a court reporter, under oath), but that is *very* expensive since it has to be done properly to be usable--don't do it unless there is a legal case, and if you need to, your lawyer will guide you in doing so.

4) It would be a good idea to get an keep copies of time records and other documents, and take photos, etc. of his truck.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that your son cooperate with his insurance carrier as to the claim against him and get statements of his boss and co-workers that he was with them when the accident allegedly happened with his vehicle. At this time he does not need to hire an attorney. He hires one only if criminal charges are filed against him.


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