This morning I received a letter in the mail from the police stating I must turn myself in by a designated date due to a hit and run incident. The thing is, I have been out of the state on business for the past two months and the alleged date on the notice is one in which I was away from my home. What is the best way to go about this? I'm not quite sure how or why this is happening. Thank you for your time.
I recently handled a similar situation for a family member. You should go to the police station with an attorney and see what they have to say. If you have an alibi, then it should be resolved quickly.
Call a criminal defense attorney right away. If you cannot afford to do so, please contact the public defender's office as follows:
191 East Jefferson Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: 301 563 8900
Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm Mon–Fri
Silver Spring Office
8552 Second Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301 563 8701
Hours: 8:30am – 3:30pm Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri (Closed Wednesdays)
It is always best to speak in detail with an attorney when seeking answers to legal questions. You should not depend upon an answer to a legal question that is only based upon your initial inquiry which may not contain all of the facts necessary for one to make an informed opinion. I suggest contacting someone local to your area in order to go over more of the specifics related to your situation.
You need to consult with a criminal lawyer, as this is a potentially serious charge. To the extent that you have documents that will demonstrate your presence outside of this area at the time (such as airline ticket, pay stubs, credit card restaurant or hotel receipts etc etc ) I would suggest bringing them with you when you meet with the lawyer. As you are in the Rockville area, in the event that you do not have the name of an attorney to consult with, you might consider the Montgomery County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service (301-424-7040)
Assemble any documentation you have that would prove that you were not in town (credit card receipts or statement, cell phone bill, hotel bill, restaurant receipts, etc.) and contact a lawyer. S/He will contact the police or State's Attorney's office to provide this evidence, which should result in theh charge being dropped.
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Most likely it is a letter stating that you have to come to the precient to pick up your paper work and sign for it. Before you go, you should check to see if there is in fact a warrant out for your arrest. If there is then if you go to the precient you will be arrested. At this point you have been charged and have to be served before the case can go forward. If there is a warrant out for your arrest then I would contact an attorney ASAP before you are arrested.
You should call an attorney, and just retain the attorney to help you in dismissing the charges as you were clearly out of town and you have prove to show this. That limited representation should not cost much but will assure you are not saying something to the police that may be taken later against you. This is just as a measure of protecting your Fifth Amendment right.
Meet with a local attorney to review your out of state itinerary and any proof that you were not here, as well as who had access to your vehicle while you were gone. Your lawyer can contact the police officer and discuss the facts, but it is likely that they will want to obtain a statement if you were not here, but know who was here and had access to your vehicle. You do not have to give a statement, but if you do not, then you will need to go in to be served the citations. All they will do is have you sign for the tickets and leave. Although hit and run is serious (carries up to a year in jail if there was bodily injury, plus 12 points on your license which can get you revoked), these cases can commonly be dealt with in a manner that avoids any points or conviction, and no jail. However, because is sounds as if you have an "iron clad" alibi, you should be able to avoid a guilty finding. On the other hand, you may have to give up what you know about whomever had access to your car while you were away. Meet with counsel to discuss your options going forward. Also, you should retain counsel to go with you to sign for the citations, so as to avoid your making any unwise statements to the officer.
You should call a lawyer before you respond. If you have documentation proving you were out of town, your attorney may be able to resolve over the phone with the police. Depending on what the police tell your attorney, assuming it isn't resolved, your attorney will either go with you to the police or send you with instructions not to speak to the police. Unless there was a death or serious injury or they think you were drinking, you will probably get a citation (ticket) and leave with no arrest. The attorney will hopefully know in advance.
Many lawyers have already answered your question. I just join in to say it is important for you to consult with a qualified lawyer on this matter, including to know in advance whether the police already have decided -- or considering -- to charge you with a jailable offense. All the best to you. Jon
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Consult an Attorney, and bring documents proving your whereabouts, and have your attorney set up a meeting with the officer who wrote the citation. I have dealt with a similar situations and the officer realized from the beginning that this claim was was warrantless. But please contact an attorney .
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