My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: MA
I parallel-parked at the side of the street, and went away to take a walk. When I returned about an hour later, there was a police officer waiting for me by my car, who said there was a witness claiming that I hit another car while parking. He cited me for hit and run, and I have a criminal arraignment next week.
There is no damage to my car at all. There was an insurance claim from the other car's owner against my policy for $400 (I don't know if they ended up paying it or not). I did not feel any impact while parking. My wife was in the car with me, and did not feel anything either.
There are also two people I am kinda acquainted with, that happened to be standing outside, talking while I was parking, and watched the whole thing. They say that my car has never touched the other one.
Besides, I did not exactly run - I just went for a walk, and came back. At it was at the scene of the (alleged) accident where I was handed the ticket.
Please help me figure out what it my best strategy to avoid criminal charges. I am scared to death of this arraignment thing ... I am a (very) law-abiding person, and could never imagine I would have to be a defendant in a criminal case. What should I say at arraignment? Are they going to even ask me anything, beyond how I plea? I there a chance to stop this before it gets to trial? Can anything be done at arraignment to that end, or do I need to file some kind of a motion to dismiss or something like that and schedule a separate hearing? (I am sorry, my only source of knowledge about criminal procedure is the "Law and Order" show).
Do I need to bring witnesses to the arraignment or is it just a formality to enter a plea, and they will never get a chance to testify?
In any case, what should my defense be? Is the fact that I did not know there was a hit (and therefore could not possibly have any intent to flee the scene) enough of a defense, or do I need to insist that the accident did not happen at all? Does the fact that I have returned to the scene not negate the "run" part of the charge? Should I contact my insurance to find out if they ended up paying the other guy's claim? Would it help me if they did not? Should I find out who their witnesses are and try to discredit them somehow?
If you have any other advice or a piece of info, please tell me too. I will really appreciate any help or information.
Thank you very much!