Hit Skip-Leaving the Accident Scene in Ohio
Commonly known as Hit Skip or Hit And Run, the charge of Leaving The Scene Of An Accident may have significant consequences. Ohio law prohibits leaving the scene of an accident because we want to encourage drivers to remain at the scene. We want drivers to exchange information, and, if necessary, remain at the scene for an investigation to determine which driver is at fault so the not-at-fault driver is made whole. For drivers who do leave the scene of an accident, the consequences can be severe. If you are charged with this offense, by any name, you may want to hire a Columbus Hit Skip lawyer with experience handling these types of cases in central Ohio courts.
The Dominy Law Firm has experience representing clients charged with Hit Skip (in Ohio, it’s “Stopping After Accident”) in central Ohio courts. Shawn Dominy has been practicing since 1997, and the focus of his practice has always been representing clients charged with traffic offenses, DUI / OVI offenses, and criminal offenses. The Dominy Law Firm is considered one of the top criminal defense firms in central Ohio, and Shawn Dominy was named as one of the top 50 lawyers in Columbus, Ohio by Columbus Monthly magazine and SuperLawyers®.
For drivers convicted of failing to stop after an accident, there is a range of possible consequences. The sentence may include a jail term, a license suspension, a fine, court costs, restitution, driver license points, and a period of supervision (probation) with certain conditions which must be fulfilled. In addition to the sentence in court, there may secondary consequences such as increased insurance premiums, effects on employment, and a public record which can never be expunged.
If you are charged with Hit Skip, there are various elements of the offense which the prosecution must prove. Those elements are defined by the Ohio legislature if you are charged under the Ohio Revised Code, or the city legislature if you are charged under a city code. The elements for the Ohio Revised Code are found in ORC section 4549.02, unless the offense occurred on private property, then the elements are found in ORC section 4549.021. Generally, the prosecution must prove you were in an accident, you had knowledge of the accident, and you failed to remain at the scene or you did not give certain required information to other people involved in the accident or to the police investigating the accident.
Although Hit Skip is taken very seriously by the legislature, prosecutors and judges in Ohio, being charged with it does not make the case hopeless. The prosecution may not be able to prove all the elements of the offense, and you may have statutory and common law defenses to the charge. If you do not have a full defense, you may have mitigating factors to present to the court. When the Dominy Law Firm represents a client for Hit Skip, we obtain the prosecutor’s evidence, conduct an investigation, seek to exclude damaging evidence, introduce favorable evidence, and negotiate with the prosecutor. If we do not reach an agreement you find acceptable, we take the case to trial.
The Dominy Law Firm is focused on representing clients charged with Hit Skip and other traffic offenses, DUI / OVI, and criminal offenses. The firm is located in Columbus and represents clients in courts throughout central Ohio. For more information, please see the firm overview. You may also be interested in outcomes from previous cases and reviews from past clients. If you are charged with Hit Skip and would like to discuss your case with the Dominy Law Firm, you can schedule a free phone consultation by calling 614-717-1177 or by completing a CONTACT FORM.