Washington, DC criminal defense lawyer Jay P. Mykytiuk explains what to do if you’ve received a letter from the police about a hit and run accident.
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Well, the first thing you should do is call a lawyer. The reason MPD sends out the hit and run letter is that they want someone who is under investigation to come down to the police station and incriminate themselves. The police usually start these investigations because they receive notification that someone got a license plate number of some vehicle that was in a car accident. Now, for the most part, the police don’t know who was driving that car. They only know who the registered owner is. It’s very easy for the police to be able to get an arrest warrant if someone comes down in response to that letter and tells the police that they were the person driving that car. That is the easiest way to get yourself arrested for hit and run. So the important thing is that you call a lawyer and consult with them, and I will tell you the first advice I always give someone under investigation is that they should not make any statements to the police about this accident. They should not respond to the letter, they should not go to the police station, they should not answer a phone call from the police or answer any questions posed by anybody about this accident. Doing that is a huge mistake, and as a lawyer, in almost all cases, and especially in hit and run cases, we advise clients never to make statements about something that they’re being investigated for.