Q: On Monday, November 4th , on my way home from work, I entered a traffic circle and was immediately blinded by oncoming headlights. I felt a very slight bump and felt I may have bumped a reflector pole in the circle. At home, I checked the car and there was a scratch on my right front fender. That evening an officer arrives to let me know I bumped another car and he needed my insurance, license and registration to share with the other driver. Tuesday the officer calls to tell me I need to come in for fingerprinting due to a hit and run charge! It was a minor hit and run charges with little damage and no injury! Can it be dismissed. How would I try to do that? (Mt. Pleasant, PA)
A: Try to get an experienced criminal defense attorney. Most people are not aware of the laws applied to these circumstances, but they are strict. Section 3743 of the Title 75 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code requires you to remain at the scene and exchange information when there is an accident involving property damage. Section 3744 basically says that if you cannot locate the other driver or property owner you need to go to the closes police station and make a report. A misdemeanor 3 can stay on your record for years, and there is a hidden driver license suspension with this offense. Believing that you hit a reflector pole, if damaged, would require such reporting to the police. However, your defense of not knowing you hit another vehicle and you being fully insured and hopefully not having a bad driving record, may help in negotiating this down to a summary leaving the scene or even another less harmless traffic offense. An attorney will know every angel of this. Do not try it on your own.