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Can I Reduce My Hit-and-Run Charge?

 Posted on June 26, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Walworth traffic violations attorneyIf you are facing a hit-and-run charge in Wisconsin, you might be wondering if there are ways to reduce the severity of your case. While every situation is unique, there are several strategies that may help mitigate the consequences of a hit-and-run charge. A Wisconsin lawyer can help with your options and provide insights into the legal process.

What Are the Hit-and-Run Laws in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Statute 346.67 outlines the duties of a driver involved in an accident. The law requires drivers to:

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible
  • Provide their name, address, and vehicle registration to other involved parties
  • Show their driver's license if requested
  • Offer reasonable help to any injured person

Not meeting these requirements can lead to hit-and-run charges, with severity dependent on the situation.

Potential Strategies to Reduce Charges

While hit-and-run charges are serious, several potential strategies may help minimize your case's severity. It is important to note that the effectiveness of these strategies can vary depending on the specific details of your situation, the evidence available, and the prosecution's approach. Always consult with a qualified attorney to determine the most appropriate strategy for your individual case.

Surrender and Cooperate

If you leave the scene but later decide to come forward voluntarily, it can work in your favor. Prompt cooperation with law enforcement may demonstrate remorse and responsibility, potentially reducing charges.

Prove Lack of Knowledge

In some cases, you may be able to argue that you were unaware of the accident. Wisconsin law requires "knowledge" of the accident for a hit-and-run conviction. If you can demonstrate that you genuinely did not realize an accident occurred, it might lead to reduced charges or dismissal.

Show Mitigating Circumstances

Factors such as medical emergencies, fear for personal safety, or other extenuating circumstances might explain why you left the scene. While these do not excuse the action, they may influence the prosecutor's or judge's decision regarding charges or sentencing.

Negotiate a Plea Bargain

Working with an experienced attorney, you may be able to negotiate a plea bargain. This could involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Participate in Alternative Programs

Wisconsin offers alternative programs for some offenders, such as deferred prosecution agreements or diversion programs. Successful completion of these programs can lead to reduced charges or case dismissal.

Demonstrate Good Character

Providing evidence of your otherwise good character, clean driving record, and community involvement can sometimes influence the court's decision. While not a guarantee, it may contribute to a more favorable outcome.

Address Any Underlying Issues

If substance abuse or mental health issues contributed to the incident, voluntarily seeking treatment can demonstrate your commitment to personal improvement and responsibility.

Potential Consequences of Hit-and-Run

The penalties for hit-and-run in Wisconsin depend on the severity of the accident:

  • Property damage only: Misdemeanor, up to $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail
  • Injury: Class A misdemeanor, up to $10,000 fine and/or nine months in jail
  • Great bodily harm: Class E felony, up to $50,000 fine and/or 15 years in prison
  • Death: Class D felony, up to $100,000 fine and/or 25 years in prison

These penalties underscore the importance of exploring all options to reduce your charges potentially.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Hit-and-run charges can be complex and intimidating. A criminal defense attorney in Wisconsin can:

  • Evaluate the evidence against you
  • Find areas of weaknesses in the prosecution's case
  • Negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf
  • Advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation

Contact a Walworth County, WI Traffic Violation Attorney

Every hit-and-run case is unique, and the best strategies depend on your situation's specific circumstances. To explore your options and develop a tailored defense strategy, a Racine County, WI traffic violation lawyer can help. Call Bucher Law Group, LLC at 262-303-4916 to start with a free consultation.

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