What is the Penalty for a Hit and Run on a Parked Car in the UK

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What is the Penalty for a Hit and Run on a Parked Car in the UK

If you hit a parked car while you were driving, whether you were driving past it or bumped into it while reversing, and did not stop to take the other driver's details, you could be prosecuted for a hit and run offence. The penalty for a hit and run offence is significantly more severe than the costs you might otherwise have incurred if you did stop - an unlimited fine and up to 10 penalty points on your drivers licence. If your offence was especially severe, you could even face up to six months in prison and receive a disqualification from driving.

Beyond the legal penalties, driving offences carry further costs; you may lose the ability to drive, which could affect your job, future employment opportunities and those who rely on you to support them. If you have points on your licence, you can expect your insurance company to charge you an increased rate for their service. Therefore, it is essential that you understand what you face when you hit a parked car and drive away from the accident scene.

In the following guide, the expert motoring offences solicitors at JMW outline what you can expect following a hit and run offence, what you should do if you are being charged with an offence and how a professional solicitor can help you.

What happens after you hit a parked car and drive off?

Many drivers who commit hit and run offences do not do so with the intent of causing damage. Instead, they panic and drive away. While you may think no one was around to spot you, most car parks and parking spots are monitored by CCTV, meaning your car registration plate can be easily identified and the police will be able to charge you with the offence.

You may receive a fixed penalty notice (FPN) through the post, detailing your offence, or you may be pulled over later by the police and charged. If you receive an FPN, you will be expected to fill one side or the other, either accepting your penalties or refusing them. If you refuse them, you will be expected to defend your decision in court.

If your offence was more severe - if you were driving recklessly, there was alcohol or drugs involved, or if someone was injured in the collision, you may be arrested and taken to the police station, or you may be given a court summons instead of an FPN. In these cases, you can expect your penalties to be more severe, including a potential prison sentence.

What should you do if you are charged with a hit and run offence?

Before you make any decisions, you should speak to a legal expert about what to do next. Depending on your situation, the right move will vary and a legal expert can help you to navigate the complexities of motoring law to best understand your options.

If you receive an FPN, you will have a month from the date you committed your offence to respond to it. In cases where there is a lot of evidence against you, and where the penalties are generally lower, it may be best to simply accept your charges. This is because disputing a motoring offence and failing will lead you to incur even higher penalties, so it is only worth doing if your solicitor is confident that it is worth the risk and that you have a good chance of succeeding.

If you are arrested and taken to the police station, or if you receive court summons, you should contact a solicitor as soon as possible to ensure you have time to prepare to deal with your prosecution.

Beyond anything else, you should not ignore an FPN; if you do, you will only receive stronger penalties. Ensure you provide a response to the police well within the deadline and, if you agree to pay a fine and take your charges, follow through with them.

How can a solicitor help you with a hit and run charge?

While you can represent yourself in court following a motoring offence, you should not do this under any circumstances. Motoring law is highly complex and our professional solicitors have studied it for decades, allowing us to keep up to date with trends and developments, and to identify methods for defence. Without this expertise, you will not be able to defend yourself successfully against a motoring offence charge, and you run the risk of making decisions that could lead to costly penalties or more time-consuming processes.

Our solicitors regularly help those who are being charged with hit and run offences by providing advice on what steps to take, representation in court and helping to remove or reduce penalties so drivers can stay on the roads, able to support their families and retain their jobs.

For more information on how to deal with hit and run accidents, call our expert team today on 0345 872 6666, or fill out an online contact form and we will return your call at a time convenient for you.

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