Strafbefehl (leaving the scene of an accident)

61 posts in this topic

55 minutes ago, jeba said:

I´m not sure that´s the case given that according to your post you thought you had hit the stairs and not another car. Also, as there was nobody hurt the judge might decide it´s a minor case and a 6 months driving ban plus a fine might be enough of punishment (too bad for you that I won´t be your judge because that´s what I´d do). I´d definitely consult a lawyer specialising in Strafrecht

 

But if I read correctly, getting a reduction from 7 months to 6 months isn't worth paying a lawyer for or? 

 

What would I pay for a lawyers' consultation to the point where they can tell me whether I have a case? Just a ballpark figure, a few hundred Euros? 

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There's no telling how much (or whether) a good lawyer might get your sentence reduced.

 

But since you've already surrendered your license, I think that's a moot point now.

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38 minutes ago, JasonBamberg said:

 

But if I read correctly, getting a reduction from 7 months to 6 months isn't worth paying a lawyer for or? 

 

What would I pay for a lawyers' consultation to the point where they can tell me whether I have a case? Just a ballpark figure, a few hundred Euros? 

 

Lawyer´s fees are regulated. Initial consultation IIRC about € 200 + VAT. I´d call the state prosecutor´s office first to find out whether it isn´t too late now that you already handed in your license.

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@El Jeffo Not necessarily. Remember the car accident where the officer convinced me to declare my guilt at the scene? My lawyer was able to get that entirely reversed and get the bike rider declared at fault. So, my pending point at Flensburg was removed and I got no penalty. If there are enough mitigating circumstances,  a good lawyer might get a lot of this reduced. Then again, I don't know much about hit and run law here, so I can always be wrong. I think it is worth €200 to find out, if the long term costs are this high.

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48 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

@El Jeffo Not necessarily. Remember the car accident where the officer convinced me to declare my guilt at the scene, my lawyer was able to get that entirely reversed and get the bike rider declared at fault. So, my pending point at Flensburg was removed and I got no penalty. If there are enough mitigating circumstances,  a good lawyer might get a lot of this reduced. Then again, I don't know much about hit and run law here, so I can always be wrong. I think it is worth €200 to find out, if the long term costs are this high.

 

I see what you mean, however, I'm not sure what mitigating circumstances I have. I did something stupid, and although I thought I had 'just' hit some steps and nothing more significant, I still should have stopped and checked. I panicked and drove away, so technically I'm guilty. I couldn't have hit someone; I was reversing very slowly. The damage to my car was minor (slight bumper scratch) so the impact wasn't spectacular, though has incurred damages of over EUR2K. 

 

It's my first offence (ever, anywhere) and I am very remorseful and I would never do it again. But none of this strikes me as 'mitigating'. The punishment I have been given is in line with the law as far as I've read (ok, I'm not a lawyer). The only thing is that the fahrverbot is because I am perceived as a threat on the roads; for someone who drives over 30.000km per year and has never had an accident (this aside), especially compared to some of the people on the road, and furthermore having been permitted to continue driving for 7 months after this incident, is what I find unreasonable. A 3 month ban, sure. But a confiscation of my license is harsh in my view, but from their view I'm sure it's different. 

 

Say I get a lawyer and he/she reduces the fine too EUR4.000 and the fahrverbot to 5 months. The cost of the lawyer and the court case would pretty much offset that gain I would guess. 

 

I have a very weak proposal that is probably going to be laughed at by everyone on here. What if I write to the Prosecutor and explain my point of view. Accept the responsibility and express my remorse and explain my circumstances. Throw myself on the mercy of the court!! (joke). Yeah, like that's going to work. 

 

My main concern is getting my license back after 7 months without taking the idiot test. 

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16 minutes ago, JasonBamberg said:

What if I write to the Prosecutor and explain my point of view. Accept the responsibility and express my remorse and explain my circumstances. Throw myself on the mercy of the court!! (joke). Yeah, like that's going to work. 

Didn't they give you the opportunity to do that already? They usually send you some kind of Anhörungsbogen, which gives you the chance to tell your side of the story, before announcing the sentence. 

 

16 minutes ago, JasonBamberg said:

My main concern is getting my license back after 7 months without taking the idiot test. 

I mentioned above that if you were going to be required to do the MPU to get your license back, they would have told you already.

 

You'll never know how much a lawyer might be able to negotiate down your fine/license suspension until you try it.

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1 minute ago, El Jeffo said:

Didn't they give you the opportunity to do that already? They usually send you some kind of Anhörungsbogen, which gives you the chance to tell your side of the story, before announcing the sentence. 

 

I mentioned above that if you were going to be required to do the MPU to get your license back, they would have told you already.

 

You'll never know how much a lawyer might be able to negotiate down your fine/license suspension until you try it.

 

No they didn't give me any opportunity to do that. I gave a statement to the police on the day of the incident where I gave my side of the story. Do you think it's worth giving the Prosecutor's office a call and asking what I can do? Is it in their interests to care about my position? I spoke to them yesterday and they were helpful.

 

I mean, the whole procedure is/was off, the Police left a scribbled note in my post box asking me to call them 3 weeks ago, which I did immediately on receipt, and they said they needed to come and check my ID as there's a discrepancy (?). First appointment at my house he didn't turn up. A few days' later he called and said he had been sick. Second appointment (Monday) he didn't turn up. So yesterday he called me and asked if I could come by the police station. He mentioned some paperwork regarding a Fahrverbot. Again, my German is good, but he was young and Franconian, and I may have missed some small details. But I leave work and drive straight there, where I park, and I go in and they take my license off me. I couldn't even take my car home. Yes, someone might say this was also dumb, but I'm not used to being involved with the law.  I have received no correspondence regarding this incident myself via post. 

 

Yes, I saw you mentioned that re the MPU, it's just that this is the decision of the driving authority when I reapply for a license, so I'm still concerned. 

 

Your last point - I agree, and I'll make a decision today if I go down this route. Thanks for all the feedback, it's most appreciated. 

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If anyone could comment on my naive and slightly daft idea of writing to the Prosecutor ... as I have decided not to get a lawyer. The punishment fits the crime according to the law. 

 

In my letter I just want to express my deep regret, explain briefly my side of the story whilst acknowledging that I am responsible for my actions and that I accept the fine. I would like to gently suggest that the 7 month ban on driving is a little excessive and that, as I need my car for work, would they reconsider this element. 

 

I would appreciate any productive feedback. 

 

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No offense, but are you familiar with the saying "A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"?

 

Germans are sticklers for the law. They won't be swayed by hardship or emotion. Here's just one recent example.

 

If you can't cite paragraphs and precedents, you might as well be talking to a wall.

 

If you really want to have your suspension period reduced, talk to a lawyer.

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33 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

No offense, but are you familiar with the saying "A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"?

 

Germans are sticklers for the law. They won't be swayed by hardship or emotion. Here's just one recent example.

 

If you can't cite paragraphs and precedents, you might as well be talking to a wall.

 

If you really want to have your suspension period reduced, talk to a lawyer.


No that’s fair enough. Deep down I know that. 

 

I’ll take my punishment. 

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5 minutes ago, JasonBamberg said:

I’ll take my punishment.

That´s your choice then. I´d think there are mitigating factors which could justify reducing the driving ban (you weren´t aware you damaged another car and nobody was injured).

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23 minutes ago, jeba said:

That´s your choice then. I´d think there are mitigating factors which could justify reducing the driving ban (you weren´t aware you damaged another car and nobody was injured).


possibly, but the minimum ban is 6 months according to the law. So I might get a month reduced. Then I have to pay court fees and of course legal fees. It’s basically exchanging part of the ban for more money. I can still get to work and my travel expenses are covered, so on balance, whilst it’s a pain, I don’t see a month reduction as being worth it. 

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Like I said, if you (or your legal representation) can prove that your car is essential to earning a living, they could restrict you to driving for work purposes only or find some other solution. And like I said before, 7 months is an incredibly long time for an accident that didn't involve any personal injury and "only" €2200 in damages (which is basically a deep scratch nowadays). The stuff I found when googling suggested that 3 months was the max in such situations.

 

Sorry, but I don't know why you're being so obstinate about this, unless you're dead set on punishing yourself to the maximum extent possible. If that's the case, by all means.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

And like I said before, 7 months is an incredibly long time for an accident that didn't involve any personal injury and "only" €2200 in damages (which is basically a deep scratch nowadays). The stuff I found when googling suggested that 3 months was the max in such situations.

 

I don't know about what you found but leaving the scene in and of itself is a serious offence even when there were no injuries. At least it was in the U.S. when I did it as a teenager. Learned my lesson well.

 

Someone hit our old car in a parking lot here in Munich and had the decency to leave his name, contact and insurance details. We would have been screwed if he didn't. 

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Agree with ff-a very serious offence. OP admits he thought it was a concrete piece, but did not get out to check. Could have been a child/dog/ and was a car.

I know he admits his fault,  but not sure why he feels the licence ban should be shortened.

But, a lawyer can advise.

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1 hour ago, RedMidge said:

Agree with ff-a very serious offence. OP admits he thought it was a concrete piece, but did not get out to check. Could have been a child/dog/ and was a car.

I know he admits his fault,  but not sure why he feels the licence ban should be shortened.

But, a lawyer can advise.


Do you think I don’t realise it’s serious? Do you think it doesn’t keep me awake at night? Do my comments not show remorse and a willingness to be punished, realizing my very poor judgement? Believe me, I have learned the lesson. With respect, I think we can drop the sanctimonious comments please.
 

And there is no way the impact could have been anything but a hard surface. I was barely moving. I wrote that already. 
 

The fine is a big one, but on top a ban? Am I a danger to other drivers? Am I going to go around playing bumper cars? Of course not. What does a drink driver get? First offense, a slap on the wrist in comparison. That’s why I’m wondering about the ban. The fine indicates the severity. The ban seems disproportionate. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not.
 

As you say, after lots of good advice here my choice is to challenge via a lawyer or take my medicine. 

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I was actually replying to El Jeffo about it being a serious offence. I'm sure that you are full aware and I wish you the best of luck.

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Having just returned from the funeral in the UK of a lovely friend who was killed by a lorry driver who was looking at his phone, failed to see the red traffic light in front of him, and ploughed straight into my friend's car as he was turning across the junction, I am struggling to see this as a very serious offence.

 

Get a lawyer - that is not going to cost a bomb and you will know whether you have any viable options after a consultation.

 

Obviously always check the car after a bash, but I say this as someone who knows they hit the gate on the way in this evening, and couldn't be arsed to get out and check the damage. It was more of a nudge :ph34r:

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13 minutes ago, JasonBamberg said:

As you say, after lots of good advice here my choice is to challenge via a lawyer or take my medicine. 

 

Are you a member of the ADAC (German motoring organisation)?

If YES give them a quick call.

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Der Schaden sprengt den Rahmen von 1.300 Euro: Die Konsequenzen für den Unfallflüchtigen bestehen in diesem Fall aus einer Geldstrafe, die durchaus über einem Monatsgehalt liegen kann, drei Punkten sowie einem Führerscheinentzug. Letzterer geht außerdem mit einer mindestens sechsmonatigen Sperrfrist einher, innerhalb der die zuständige Behörde einer Neuerteilung der Fahrerlaubnis nicht zustimmen wird.

 

This is from the Bußgeldkatalog 2020 Website for Fahrerflucht. This is what I have been given. I think (based on my reading of the charge) the driving ban started when the paperwork was signed (early January). So I ‘think’ I have basically been given 6 months (from yesterday). I don’t want to flog a dead horse here, but I cannot really see how this can be reduced. 6 months is the minimum. We can all say we didn’t realise blah blah. 

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