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What would you do in this moral bind?????...

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  • What would you do in this moral bind?????...

    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? I would like to hear from both those in law enforcement and those not. Thanks much in advance.

  • #2
    A minor (non-injury/minor property damage) hit and run is usually not going to draw any jail time for a first time offender. In the L.A. County area, you'd be looking at a $250.00 fine and summary probation for a year. Stay out of trouble for the year and everything goes away except the insurance cost increases. Don't get wrapped up in feeling sorry for the defendant. S/he knowingly committed the violation and the punishment is going to be lighter than the cost of the attorney!
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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    • #3
      Sometimes victims tend to feel a little sympathy toward the person who made them into a victim. It is normal to feel this.

      It is also normal for third parties to have no trouble recognizing that the person who crashed into you does not care about you. If they have any morals, they are setting them aside right now because the poop has hit the fan. All they care about is getting out of the trouble they caused themselves by driving without a license and committing a hit-and-run.

      Personally I want them to be convicted of criminal charges for the hit-and-run.

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      • #4
        Forget the civil compromise. You got hit by some POS driving with either a suspended license, or none issued. That also means no insurance. Don't back down to his twit of a public defender and go along with accepting a payoff in order to subvert justice. The criminal needs the conviction on his record. Take the money and the criminal charge.
        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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        • #5
          Thanks

          Thanks pulicords, Feanor, and ateamer for your responses. pulicords, when you write, "Stay out of trouble for the year and everything goes away except the insurance cost increases," do you mean that even if he is found guilty that it will eventually disappear from his records, as if he never committed the hit and run?????... Because if that's the case (and may I ask how certain you are of this information?...), then I would have to rethink 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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          • #6
            Yes an no. There will always be a record with the criminal justice system that he was convicted. Go forward with it his accountability has to start somewhere. If you don't step up and be the first somebody else will probably have to. Then he will have completly gotten away with it once and gotten probation the second time instead of jail time when he screwed over somebody else. So help out society as a whole and hold him accountable. He didn't worry about your feelings why should you care about his......
            Today's Quote:

            "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
            Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              Don't forget, this might only be the first time this person was actually caught doing something illegal, it doesn't mean it's their first time doing something illegal... I wouldn't feel too guilty. Sometimes certain people need a wake-up call.

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              • #8
                Haha hit and run by a person with no license HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                Take em down, they need it.
                I fail to see the "moral bind." They already crossed the "moral bind" when they drove without a license knowing full well that it was wrong. They then continued out of sight of the line when they hit you and kept going.

                Basically "Moral Bind" was 200 counties, 4000 miles, and 8 states ago. Now its time for "Consequences."
                Last edited by Duo; 06-04-2007, 07:49 AM.

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                • #9
                  If this guy/girl keeps getting breaks and having incidents not show up on their record they'll continue to get breaks. They need to learn a lesson before they really hurt or kill someone. You did nothing wrong so proceed with the case and DON'T let them get away with it anymore.
                  "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

                  "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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                  • #10
                    Since you use the word guy/girl, it's seems you don't know who was driving the vehicle.

                    This information is absolutely necessary for any criminal prosecution.

                    I'd take the money and not pursue it, which I think would be impossible anyway. The driver won't necessarily go unpunished, the insurance will increase and all that.

                    Never push a case you know you're going ot lose. You lose the case, and the insurance company isn't going to pay anything.
                    "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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                    • #11
                      Instead of a civil comp, ask for a deferred sentencing. This means they first plead guilty and agree to serve a sentence. They then walk free. But...

                      Then, IF THEY BREAK THE LAW IN A SET PERIOD OF TIME AFTERWARD, the full sentence is handed out for the original offense, back to back with the new crime. In this way, you are NOT contributing as you put it, to putting someone in jail - they are doing it all by themselves.

                      Or, keep life simple, and hammer the offender. That would be my answer, but this is YOUR case, not mine.
                      The All New
                      2013
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                      Sully - IAM Rand - JasperST - L1 - The Tick - EmmaPeel - Columbus - LA Dep - SgtSlaughter - OneAdam12 - Retired96 - Iowa #1603
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                      (any BBQ and Goldfish Pond member may nominate another user for membership but just remember ..... this ain't no weenie roast!)



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                      • #12
                        Trooper, how would you identify the offender?
                        "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gene L View Post
                          Trooper, how would you identify the offender?
                          Well, here, they are entered in the system - provided you get good ID. When presentencing investigation occurs, the deferred sentence pops up.
                          The All New
                          2013
                          BBQ and Goldfish Pond Club
                          Sully - IAM Rand - JasperST - L1 - The Tick - EmmaPeel - Columbus - LA Dep - SgtSlaughter - OneAdam12 - Retired96 - Iowa #1603
                          - M1Garand

                          (any BBQ and Goldfish Pond member may nominate another user for membership but just remember ..... this ain't no weenie roast!)



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                          • #14
                            Yes, I agree, but the use of him/her doesn't indicate Emma or anyone else got a good ID of the driver. That's the problem.

                            I don't think Emma has enough information to get a warrant. And you need a warrant for someone to go to jail.

                            I'd turn it loose.
                            "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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                            • #15
                              Actually...

                              Thanks everyone for your comments. Gene L, I actually DO know the identity of the offender - I only used the "he/she" thing in an attempt to "further protect the privacy" of the offender...what can I say, that's just the kind of person I am...
                              Thank you 1042 Trooper for your suggestion - 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?...
                              My impression is that a lot of you who responded to my post are in law enforcement (and perhaps male, judging by your screen names)...what advice would you give to your wife, daughter, sister, girlfriend, or just friend if she was in my situation? For those who are NOT in law enforcement, I would like to hear from you also, especially those who have similar experiences as mine, as well as this offender's (pls feel free to PM me if it would be more comfortable for you).
                              Again, thanks a lot in advance for your input!

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