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Hit and run cases have been on the rise in Canada. In 2000, there were only 5,051 hit and run claims; however, these numbers skyrocketed to 9,966 by 2009 and have not fallen since. If you are facing hit and run charges, speak with an attorney immediately in order to determine how severe the charges are and what type of defenses can be used.
Legally Definition of the Offense
Hit and run charged are defined under Section 252 of the Criminal Code. It is better defined as a failure to stop at the scene of the accident and is separated into several elements. To be facing a hit and run charge, you would have to:
Depending on how severe the accident is, the punishment involved with the charges will vary. It can be as high as 5 years of imprisonment to life if there are fatalities involved. In short, a hit and run charge is not something you should take lightly, as it can result in serious consequences.
Top 3 Most Common Defenses
Depending on the circumstances that surround your case, an attorney can help you determine what the best approach to take is, and what type of defenses will have the highest likelihood of exonerating you. The top 3 defenses most often used in court include:
1. Mistaken Identity
First of all, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the vehicle involved in the accident is yours. Second, the prosecutor must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the one operating the vehicle at the time.
An attorney may argue either it was not your vehicle that was involved in the accident or you were not the one operating the vehicle at the time. Although you may not face hit and run charges, you may still be held liable for the damages if the vehicle involved in the accident is yours, but you were not the one driving.
In short, you did not know you caused an accident. While you will still be held liable for the damages that resulted from the accident, you can fight off your hit and run charges if you did not realize you had caused an accident, and simply left as a result. Generally speaking, you will have to prove the accident was relatively minor, and you may also have to provide details to a judge regarding why you were not aware that you caused an accident.
3. Improper Police Work
Last but not least, your attorney will want to go through all of the procedures that the police went through in gathering the evidence. If the police did not follow all of the proper procedures and did not respect all of your rights during the investigation and during the arrest, you may be able to either negotiate a favorable settlement or have your case thrown out of court completely.
If you are facing hit and run charges, it is crucial you contact an attorney immediately, lie one at We Defend, in order to gain a more in-depth legal view of your case. Determine the severity of the charges, the type of evidence that the prosecutors have and whether there are any defenses that can be used in court.Share