Hit and runs continue to capture big headlines, especially in the southern half of the United States. According to well-published statistics, more than 50,000 occurred within the last five years. That averages out to in excess of 10,000 accidents annually. And the southern half of our nation is not alone. Hit and run accidents have the potential to happen anywhere. Of course, many people have also begun to question why they’re happening with such frequency. Is it connected to our nation’s motor vehicle laws?
In the summer of 2015, researchers asked that very same question. Afterward, they published an academic paper detailing their answer. Their work strongly indicated that today’s laws often have an impact on drivers’ behaviors. As such, they may play a role in a hit and run drivers’ legal defense options. Where does the driver’s state of mind fit in? It traces back to the differences between civil and criminal defense cases.
Licensed drivers know that they are required to report. However, many do not understand the reporting process. Plus, they may not even realize what they’ve done. Consequently, they could inadvertently flee the scene or report much later than required. In addition, they could be aware of what happened, panic and act inappropriately. Depending on those cognitive issues, charges filed against hit and run drivers may vary.
For example, some accidents may end with misdemeanor charges being filed against participants and others could result in felonies. Thus, people accused of hit and run crimes should consult with criminal defense attorneys as quickly as possible as it may be possible to avoid more serious charges. Furthermore, criminal defense attorneys may be able to get rid of the hit and run charge altogether. Again, outcomes are contingent on several factors that must be explored at great length. To work with a criminal defense attorney on a hit and run cases in Texas, please contact us.