My son is 17 and just started driving. He used my car (a Honda Civic) to go to and from school sometimes. I was at home this week when 3 police cars came in our driveway and officers were banging on our door.
Turns out my son rear ended a vehicle and drove away. To make it even worse, the driver was a cop in his personal truck. It took maybe 15 minutes from the incident to when they came knocking.
The hit truck has no damage. It was a tap at maybe 15mph into his towing hitch. Our Civics license plate is bent and there is some bumper damage. The truck driver filed an insurance claim with our insurance. My son admitted fault. There is also video footage of everything.
I am beyond freaked out and haven’t slept since. I scolded my son but there is so much I can do now. He says he freaked out about hitting an expensive new truck and just drove off. I explained how wrong that was.
What I am more concerned about is that the driver pressed charges to “teach this kid a lesson”. The cops on scene said it’s up to the other driver if he wants this charged and he chose to. We were told my son will be formally charged on Monday by the prosecutor and possibly arrested. Fleeing the scene of an accident is an arrestable offense here and it carries jail time too.
I’m scared s**tless. I’m a single mom. I can’t afford to pay lawyers to keep my son out of prison when we barely afford rent, food, and bills. I know my insurance rates will be f**ked for years to come. His too probably. What do we do here? Thanks
Note: Lots of peple suggested OP lie for do other things to try to get out of the situation. Here was OP's general response:
I don’t mean to be rude to anyone helping here but this is all wrong. As much as I want it to not be true, my son left the scene of an accident. I explicitly said it’s on camera and even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t lie to police to cause more problems.
I had a friend that did the same exact thing at 16, but not to a nice truck, it was a nice BMW. Cops came to his house and took down his info, then he was given a ticket to pay like a thousand in fines and had to do 16 hours of community service.
He was charged with a misdemeanor hit and run, but the charges were dropped once the fine and community service was paid. Insurance went up for a while too. This was in California.
not a lawyer but this is likely what youre looking at op. depends on the judge you get and if your kid shows remorse or not
I really appreciated everyone’s input and words, some good, some bad. We’ve been a ball of stress since last week.
He was officially charged with leaving the scene of an accident and fined for failure to maintain speed. I spoke to a few lawyers around town and they all agreed there is zero chance the DA will drop the charge. Our county is very tough on crime and they are campaigning on it. The DA refused any agreement (plea?).
They have lots of video evidence from the truck’s front & back dash cameras, a gas station, and an intersection camera. Our focus is to try and get probation instead of jail time.
I need to come up with a few hundred for the fine and $1500 for the lawyer. That’s in addition to the insurance rates that will definitely go up. As a kicker, my insurance has “small accident forgiveness” for damages lower than $500. The insurance estimate for the truck’s damaged hitch came out to $504.
They also want to suspend my son’s license, so he won’t be able to go to/from any job that isn’t close by. We live in a really spread out area where a car is basically mandatory.
I am just so upset with him and his decision making. Trying to keep it together and work our way out of this but it’s frustrating. After watching the video I got even more mad. He clearly realized he hit the truck, then drove around it, and off he went. Ugh!
Edit from OP: Don’t get me wrong, I’m upset about it all, but relieved it’s $500 and not $70,000. The truck was new and expensive. I explained that to my son. Had he totaled that truck, we wouldn’t have had enough coverage.
I once hit a parked cop car when picking up a friend from her home. The cop wasn’t in it, the street was deserted and I will admit, I had a few moments of thinking that I should pretend it didn’t happen or leave. The urge to not have to deal with the potential shit show was that strong.
Luckily I came to my senses and recalled just how bad it would be to not admit what I’d done and be caught later. I remembered tgat anyone could be watching from their house, including the cop, or have cameras or be in their yard, etc.
As expected, the cop was pissed. His buddies called out three squad cars with lights flashing and a crime scene photographer. Neighbors all crowded the street to stare at me. It was scary and humiliating. But I didn’t get arrested, I didn’t get a ticket. They even let me pay for the damage directly. But there’s no way I would have gotten off that easy if I had run.
Lmao that’s so insane. I’ve had people bump into my bumper before, stepped out to see there was no damage, and just went on with my life. I’m guessing there was visible damage, but still that seems extreme
I smushed one of the headlights
Most people would just exchange insurance info and snap some pics on their phone, but I guess a crime scene investigator is good too.
Let this be a reminder to any parents, if you don't explicitly teach your kid how to respond to an emergency or accident, they won't respond correctly.