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by Maria

One night I was driving at about 11pm in my residential neighborhood. A group of teens were standing around in the road causing cars to have to stop to go around them one by one. As I passed going very slowly I shouted for them to get out of the road. They shouted back and one of them hit my car. As I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw one of them exaggerate a fall to the ground while a second ran after me with his arms raised.

Two days later I was charged with the criminal charge of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. They were claiming I hit one of them going at a high rate of speed and then sped away. I couldn't believe it!

I got a criminal defense lawyer right away. He said that it was most certainly a set up to file a civil suit against me. In other words, to sue me. I paid the retainer and worried myself half to death. A conviction would mean the loss of my job.

We decided to push for a jury trial, and didn't back down. It took 7 months, but finally we got right up to the day of jury selection, and the State Prosecutor backed down. They had no evidence except the statements of 5 teens, which had obvious contradictions, so they dropped the charge.

My lawyer knew just what to do, and I am glad I chose him. He knew the charge was bogus, and didn't want to see a person with no prior police record get taken advantage of.

The matter of being sued is still unresolved, and could still happen as the level of proof is less. If I do get sued from this, I will seek the help of this same lawyer. The whole mess cost me about $1,800, which is painful, but things could have been much worse.

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