I get quite a few calls every month from potential clients who have been involved in an accident, left the scene, only later to be called by a Detective or cop wanting to have them come in and make a statement. When deciding whether to call a cop back in this hit and run situation, consider the following:
- Often cops that are calling to investigate a hit and run accident have very little known information. They are going off a tape, or eyewitness, or even information found about an abandoned vehicle when they call you. Knowing this, why give them more information? Why make their case for them? If they knew all the facts, they wouldn’t be calling you to fill them in (and ultimately, hopefully, confess).
- You DO NOT have to speak to the cop, return their call, or otherwise cooperate.
- You DO and SHOULD have the right to speak to an attorney first and 10 times out of 10, have the ATTORNEY CALL THE COP back.
- You could be prosecuted based on your mouth alone. For example, you wreck your car on a lonely stretch of country road at 3 am on a Saturday night, after having too much to drink. The cops don’t discover your car until the following day, abandoned on the side of the road. They call you and ask for all the information you can provide, to which you reply with the full story, including the fact you had had two too many. The cops can now try to make a case for DUI, even though they had nothing before you got on the phone. I have cops tell me all the time, “I know your client was drunk,” or “geez, why would your client flee the scene if they were sober and in the right??” (to which I kindly reply that my client was just fine, and we are happy to provide insurance information and the other requirements of the law ASAP…)
If you have been called by a Detective for a hit and run accident, give us a call before you return any phone calls. Simply calling to be nice and cooperative does not help the situation, and could land you with much more severe charges than you originally faced. Hit and run will suspend your driver’s license, have you arrested, and undoubtedly cause your auto insurance to skyrocket.
I can be reached 24/7 in emergency situations at (404) 590-6642.
** Under Georgia law, you do have a duty to report an accident with damage to property or any injuries as soon as practicable. Additionally, if you have been involved in an accident with another driver, you must give them some basic information and stay at the scene if there are any injuries.