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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Hit And Run Causing Property Damage

    Hi. I'm kind of in a moral bind, and here's the situation:

    I am the victim of a hit and run - relatively "minor" impact (property damage) but a whole lot of emotional distress at that time. The offender apparently has no priors, but the reason s/he fled is because s/he was driving without a valid license. Damage was paid for by the insurance co of the owner of the car (who I believe is his/her spouse). His/her court-appointed defense lawyer is asking for me for a Civil Compromise (which means that they pleaded "Not Guilty" - that actually bothers me too, morally speaking...) and I'm deeply torn, as I understand that doing so would wipe his/her slate clean (with respect to the hit and run). I want there to be some kind of record that says that s/he acted irresponsibly in the eyes of the law, but on the other hand I do not want to actively participate in possibly putting someone (a first-time offender) in jail if the case goes to trial and s/he is found guilty...

    Is it "normal" to feel this way? What would you do if you were in this situation? Thanks much in advance.

    PS: Someone suggested a "deferred sentencing" - would I, as the victim, ask for the deferred sentencing on the defendant's behalf? Would I request it to the prosecutor? His/her public defender? The judge? Would I still have to go down to the courthouse and testify? My understanding is that I was asked for Civil Compromise by the defense attorney, because they already decided to plead "Not Guilty" and take a chance on the Civil Compromise thing...could they now change their mind and plead "Guilty" (which, BTW, would make it so much easier on my conscience, time, etc.)? Any thoughts?...
    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: A different kind of victim...

    BTW, I'm in CA...forgot to mention that earlier.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A different kind of victim...

    Your damage has been paid for and anything else will probably mean your time in court. Hopefully the person has learned their lesson and will also have to deal with the insurance increase. I would go for the compromise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Hit And Run Causing Property Damage

    Thanks lwpat for your reply. People around me who personally know me have made arguments/suggestions similar to yours, and as much as I would love to heed their (and your) advice, I just cannot seem to get past the notion that I would be indirectly "condoning" acts of breaking the law, however "minor" it may or may not be (hit and run primarily, driving w/o a valid license second), if I opted for the Civil Compromise...*sigh*...

    Oh, BTW, do you lwpat, or anyone else out there, know anything about the permanence of possible outcome of this case? What I'm asking is, IF (and that's a strong IF) this case moves forward and the defendant is found guilty, would that permanently stay on his record, or is there a possibility that, with "good behavior," it would eventually be removed from his record? OR, the other scenario is, IF the defendant decides to take a less harsh sentence, say, through a plea bargain (is that the same thing as "deferring a sentence" or pleading "No Contest" - could someone clarify this please?), would that permanently remain on his record, or (again) is there a possibility of it being removed from his record, as if he never committed the hit and run...because if that's the case, then I would have heed others' (and your) advice and stop wasting more of my energy in thought and time going down to the courthouse and testifying (i.e. it would be more practical for me to settle with the Civil Compromise and put an end to this right away)... Thanks again for your input.

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