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I didn't know I was involved in a hit and run. I'm freaking out please help

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by linuxguy1010, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. linuxguy1010

    linuxguy1010 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was working for the company I work for on a Sunday. Driving the company vehicle. Just got back from the road and had it parked. Next thing I know I see two local police officers drive around twice. One stopped and stared at me for about 5 seconds then drove away. I was unloading the vehicle. Next I took out the trash. I see the same two police cars in the parking lot behind the building of the company. I start walking back to the my company's building.

    One police officer gets out of the vehicle. Stupid me I answered two of their questions. They asked me if I drove the name of the company vehicle. I said yes. They also asked how long I have been here. I said 10-15 minutes. They asked to see my ID right away. I was hesitant on giving it to them. I asked what crime they suspect of me committing. They both said hit and run. I first thought another company got robbed and that's why the police were there. I am in a Stop and Identify state. That's why I gave them my drivers license. I asked one of the police officers if I'm free to go or I'm being detained?
    He said no you are not free to go! He told me we got calls that you are driving recklessly and were involved in a hit and run. You're under arrest for a hit and run! My eyes got really wide. My first thought was my wife and two very young kids of mine. I'm the only bread winner of this family.

    That's when I told them I will start recording this. He said it's fine. I'm recording too! Police officer said you're acting really nervous. That's telling me that you know you're guilty.
    I was nervous because I don't deal with police officers on a regular basis and they were coming closer to me. Almost invading my space.

    They wanted to see the vehicle I was driving on the freeway when the other driver reported a hit and run. It's weird to me because NO ONE honked at me and NO ONE followed me. I showed the company vehicle and one police officer said to the other yes that's the license plate we were given.

    They start asking me more questions. I told them I'm not going to answer any more questions and I'm requesting an attorney. They told me I'm being detained.

    I asked if I could finish unloading the vehicle. They said yes.
    When I walked back. One police officer asked me you understand you're a prime suspect in the hit and run? Do you understand that? I stayed silent. I told him I'm exercising my 5th amendment rights according to the constitution. He rebutted with the 5th amendment in the constitution only protects you in a court of law. This is not a court of law. I rebutted with no. The 5th amendment protects you with any police encounter. He didn't argue anymore after that.

    I asked if I can keep unloading. I was almost done anyways. Police officer said to me you're not being cooperative with us so I'm not going to be cooperative with you. But gave in a few seconds later and said yes. I asked for my drivers license back. They said no. I said okay. Went back to unloading the vehicle.

    They got a hold of my boss. Boss came over. Gave them the insurance information for the company vehicle. Later told me the police officers were really pissed at me. They told him I wasn't being cooperative. Told my boss that they will give the information they have to the highway patrol for an investigation. Also heard the police saying they don't have enough evidence for an arrest. My boss told me you're fine on not answering their questions. But you have to give them your ID and insurance information.

    This happened yesterday by the way.

    Boss talked to me outside when I came in to work today. He went on to say he talked to the woman who was driving the vehicle. She apparently left a really angry voicemail to the company phone number. She seemed calmer when she talked to him a second time. Her husband and her COULDN'T find any damage to their vehicle. They still will take their vehicle to a body shop to have it looked at by a professional. No report on the body shop yet. I think i will find out more tomorrow.
    Utah has a state law that if there is damage that is $1,500 dollars or more then police have to be notified.

    The police officer also asked for my current address because my old address is listed on my drivers license. I gave it to him. He asked me how long have I lived there. I told him that's irrelevant and not going to answer that question. He gave a weird look and said okay.

    What's weird on how they can say I'm under arrest and then change it later to being detained? They called my boss and told him I was being detained for doing a hit and run. My boss thought I was in a back of a police car. I recorded most of the interaction with the police officers. I waited at the end of it in the small break room while my boss talked to the police. The police were really upset that I was being uncooperative with them.

    My question is what do I do now? I hate the waiting!! I don't want my young kids to see me getting arrested if their is a knock on the door. I don't want to get fired. I told my boss I like my job. He knows I do. I want to keep my clean driving record. I have never been arrested before either.

    What should I do? I really need advice.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should continue to say nothing and wait.
    Frankly, you've said far too much.
    You should be fine, as long as you don't panic.
    So STFU and keep waiting.
    Stop wondering and asking stupid questions, just wait silently.
  3. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record, the 5th amendment only applies when you are in police custody or at a trial. It does not apply when they are investigating a crime or speaking to you before you are actually in custody. You were not. Playing Mr. Know-it-all and playing games is not doing yourself any favors. Call it what you like, try to justify it all you want, but that is exactly what you were doing. If you were serious about only speaking with a lawyer present, then that is exactly what you should have done. Frankly if innocent I can't imagine why you wouldn't have been upfront and cooperative. Show them the vehicle had no damage, and explain you had not hit any other cars. You can still be taken into custody.

    I would not put a lot of stock in what you heard 3rd hand through your boss. Or what your boss thinks he might have overheard. The bar to bring you into custody is pretty darn low. I'd start contacting attorneys now. You might need one even if criminal charges are never brought as the other driver could still bring a civil suit.

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