Strafbefehl (leaving the scene of an accident)

61 posts in this topic

The 6 months minimum doesn´t seem to be chiseled in stone (do you you say that in English?):

Quote

(1) Wird jemand wegen einer Straftat, die er bei oder im Zusammenhang mit dem Führen eines Kraftfahrzeugs oder unter Verletzung der Pflichten eines Kraftfahrzeugführers begangen hat, zu einer Freiheitsstrafe oder einer Geldstrafe verurteilt, so kann ihm das Gericht für die Dauer von einem Monat bis zu drei Monaten verbieten, im Straßenverkehr Kraftfahrzeuge jeder oder einer bestimmten Art zu führen. Ein Fahrverbot ist in der Regel anzuordnen, wenn in den Fällen einer Verurteilung nach § 315c Abs. 1 Nr. 1 Buchstabe a, Abs. 3 oder § 316 die Entziehung der Fahrerlaubnis nach § 69 unterbleibt.

 

 Also note that the prosecutor has to prove that you acted on purpose:

Quote

Wird die Unfallflucht bei der Polizei zur Anzeige gebracht und der Schuldige ermittelt, kommt es zu einem Gerichtsverfahren. Der Staatsanwalt muss dem Unfallflüchtigen dabei einen Vorsatz nachweisen, damit der Angeklagte verurteilt werden kann.

 

source: https://www.bussgeldkatalog.org/fahrerflucht-fahrverbot/#wie_lange_dauert_das_fahrverbot_nach_einer_fahrerflucht

 

To me it seems well worth paying € 200 + VAT for a lawyer´s opinion. But that´s just me, of course.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so having done some more research, the fine amount seems disproportionate to my net income (which is what they use as a basis). It should be nearer 3.000EUR. This I can appeal, without it leading to a court case. If I supply evidence to this fact (payslip), it seems that I would be able to get this reduced without too much trouble.

 

I will not appeal the driving ban, nor will I consult a lawyer. From all the 'evidence' I have gathered, a lawyer's fees don't justify it. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JasonBamberg said:

OK, so having done some more research, the fine amount seems disproportionate to my net income (which is what they use as a basis). It should be nearer 3.000EUR. This I can appeal, without it leading to a court case. If I supply evidence to this fact (payslip), it seems that I would be able to get this reduced without too much trouble.

 

I will not appeal the driving ban, nor will I consult a lawyer. From all the 'evidence' I have gathered, a lawyer's fees don't justify it. 


On page 1 you explained that €4800 was the total, which means that the fine is 4800-2200 = €2600 which is less than €3000. So in effect you want to dare them to make you pay more? 

 

For your own sake get a lawyer. In the last 15 years I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with Amts and other entities, and in no case I said in the end “damn that was easy, I should have had a go at it alone”. Germany is a lawyer’s land.
 

or don’t and do tell us later what was their reply. If you’re very lucky it’s Monday and they’ll just ignore your letter.
 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, mtbiking said:


On page 1 you explained that €4800 was the total, which means that the fine is 4800-2200 = €2600 which is less than €3000. So in effect you want to dare them to make you pay more? 

 

For your own sake get a lawyer. In the last 15 years I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with Amts and other entities, and in no case I said in the end “damn that was easy, I should have had a go at it alone”. Germany is a lawyer’s land.
 

or don’t and do tell us later what was their reply. If you’re very lucky it’s Monday and they’ll just ignore your letter.
 

 

Thanks for replying. This was actually my next question - does the amount 4800 include the costs to the other car/insurance? It seems from your reply that they are. Are you certain of this (with respect, I don't mean to question you, it's just for clarification)? 

 

If that is the case, then of course I wouldn't appeal this amount. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that’s for you to know. I just inferred it from what you wrote on page 1. What does the letter(s) you received say?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, mtbiking said:

that’s for you to know. I just inferred it from what you wrote on page 1. What does the letter(s) you received say?

 

Well, the policeman said it was 'just' the Geldstrafe (4800) that I had to pay (though I don't rely on his opinion). The Strafbefehl  also says I also have to pay for the fees associated (legal). The damage costs are only cited in the description of the event. I know this all screams "get a lawyer" but I'm just trying to get my head around all the facts. 

 

I know this is a serious offence, but if I'm fined 4800 plus have to pay 2200 plus have my license taken away for 7 months then I would go to a lawyer, as for a first time offence this is quite disproportionate in my view. 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s not enough of an answer, you need to be sure. Black on white sure.

 

The problem is that Germany is as much as a ruled by the book country as you get, and you absolutely need an expert to navigate the automata (beamter) responsible for your case. They expect you to have one, there is a reason after all why legal insurance, haftpflicht insurance etc are so popular here. Trust us on this, we have many years of experience that you seem to lack.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jason, if the circumstances are as you have described, this was not a serious offence, I agree with you that the penalties you are facing are disproportionate. As a fellow Brit, I can tell you that German custom and practice in these kinds of things dictate that you employ a lawyer. Please get a competent one. Please don't put yourself at the mercy of the authorities. They don't have any!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Acton said:

Jason, if the circumstances are as you have described, this was not a serious offence, I agree with you that the penalties you are facing are disproportionate. As a fellow Brit, I can tell you that German custom and practice in these kinds of things dictate that you employ a lawyer. Please get a competent one. Please don't put yourself at the mercy of the authorities. They don't have any!

 

OK, I have emailed a legal firm here (as they are of course done for the week). I think it is clear that the cost of the damage is NOT included in the fine of 4800 EUR. These damages may be sought by the victim's insurance in the coming months. That means that the fine is disproportionate to my income by some 1800 EUR. I don't want to go to court, but I understand this is possible without that. If I contest the ban, it has to go to court. These are my layman's thoughts.

 

A consultation with a lawyer will cost me c. 200 EUR. He/she will be able to advise whether I could/should contest the fine. If I'm sure of getting some 1800 EUR knocked off, then I can justify 500 EUR for a lawyer. 

 

If anyone thinks I'm wide of the mark here let me know, though I imagine there will be a brief round of applause for making the right choice eventually. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only other question I have left is that I collected the Strafbefehl on Wednesday at the Police Station. It was dated 10 January. It was not sent to me by post (no idea why). 

 

Therefore, I hope that the Police will have record of the fact that I collected it and that my 2 week appeal period has not already expired. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully agree with @Acton. Even if the lawyer can only explain to you clearly what you are actually facing and can expect going forward, it’s already useful. Again I suggest to call a lawyer Monday AM, because time is not on your side. The lawyer will also tell you if there still is time to appeal, despite the January 10 letter and the fact you’ve already turned in your license...

 

You’ve asked about my experience before. I have been blamed of “Fahrerflucht” myself. I had tapped a car while parking. I got out, checked my own + other vehicle extremely well, there was no damage. I remained parked where I was for the next two days, and heard nothing. The other car even left, but I didn’t see the owner leave to talk to them. I later got a letter from the police because some old lady had taken pictures of me. I went to the police with my car, and they even gave me a statement that the reported damages on the other car were extremely unlikely to be caused by my car (wrong height/color etc.), but some eager courthouse employee still slapped me with a huge fine. I appealed and in the end I had to transfer a much lower amount of money to UNICEF. I did have to pay the damages, because I couldn’t prove it wasn’t me. I felt scammed, but it was a lesson... next time I’ll call the police no matter what. 

 

TL;DR: call a lawyer on Monday. They are professionals and can answer all your questions at the first consult. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Dubya said:

I fully agree with @Acton. Even if the lawyer can only explain to you clearly what you are actually facing and can expect going forward, it’s already useful. Again I suggest to call a lawyer Monday AM, because time is not on your side. The lawyer will also tell you if there still is time to appeal, despite the January 10 letter and the fact you’ve already turned in your license...

 

You’ve asked about my experience before. I have been blamed of “Fahrerflucht” myself. I had tapped a car while parking. I got out, checked my own + other vehicle extremely well, there was no damage. I remained parked where I was for the next two days, and heard nothing. The other car even left, but I didn’t see the owner leave to talk to them. I later got a letter from the police because some old lady had taken pictures of me. I went to the police with my car, and they even gave me a statement that the reported damages on the other car were extremely unlikely to be caused by my car (wrong height/color etc.), but some eager courthouse employee still slapped me with a huge fine. I appealed and in the end I had to transfer a much lower amount of money to UNICEF. I did have to pay the damages, because I couldn’t prove it wasn’t me. I felt scammed, but it was a lesson... next time I’ll call the police no matter what. 

 

TL;DR: call a lawyer on Monday. They are professionals and can answer all your questions at the first consult. 

 

Hmm, I will go to a lawyer, Tuesday latest but if I can have a call with one on Monday that's also possible my side.

 

Thing is, I only handed in my license because I was forced to. I got called by the police saying they had a letter with a demand that I give up my license. I thought it might be for speeding or something. So I went in and they gave me the Strafbefehl and demanded my license. I had no choice the way it was done, I couldn't even leave and take my car home and come back. Plus, the license is temporaily confiscated (I think) until the judgement is final. 

 

Sure, someone experienced may have called their lawyer immediately but I don't have that, nor the money to just have a lawyer for every eventuality. The way this has been handled is pretty poor. If I've lost my right to appeal due to police incompetence that's not a just recourse. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13.2.2020, 22:15:49, JasonBamberg said:

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). 

Just to clarify: The German Text you posted is not talking about a driving ban, your DL is declared void and you cannot redo the DL test before 6 month, if you had the mootorbike or truck license, they are gone too.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, franklan said:

Just to clarify: The German Text you posted is not talking about a driving ban, your DL is declared void and you cannot redo the DL test before 6 month, if you had the mootorbike or truck license, they are gone too.


I am 99% sure that I do not have to redo my test. Can I ask where you have this information from? 
 

https://www.bussgeldrechner.org/fahrverbot/fuehrerscheinentzug-fahrverbot.html#Wann_muessen_Sie_jeweils_den_Fuehrerschein_abgeben

 

After the ban I can reapply for my DL. Worst case MPU. This is why in some circumstances ie if your ability to drive is crucial to you job, you can request certain permissions ie just driving to work.
 

To have to retake my test as well... well let’s just say that it would be a hugely disproportionate punishment. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13.2.2020, 22:15:49, JasonBamberg said:

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. 

 

The very text you quoted mentioned withdrawal of driving license, Führenscheineinentzug, not Fahrverbot  Whether this is relevant to your case is another matter but you seemed to think it was.

 

https://www.bussgeldkatalog.org/fuehrerscheinentzug/#fuehrerscheinentzug_versus_fahrverbot

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short update for anyone interested: I have a consultation with a Verkehrsanwalt tomorrow. I mentioned the fact that I was concerned that the Police had handed me the documentation rather than them being delivered per registered post, thereby triggering the 14 day appeal window. He was equally surprised about that but said he would raise it. 

 

He said it's no problem to submit a limited appeal to the court for the amount of the fine being too high (based on my monthly net income), but that he would have to look at the case before advising whether to pursue the driving ban. I said I felt it may be unwise to challenge this, as it would trigger a court appearance and all that entails. I can live without a driving license, and to be honest, if it happened to me I would want the person to have some non-monetary punishment as well. 

 

It's been a rough few days, certainly one of the hardest situations I've ever faced, but it's always worth remembering that doing a bad thing (even if there were mitigating circumstances) doesn't make you a bad person. I also never thought when I moved here 4 years ago with barely any German that I'd be able to have a conversation with a German lawyer in German. 

 

Will advise any further updates when applicable. 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JasonBamberg said:

to be honest, if it happened to me I would want the person to have some non-monetary punishment as well. 

That was my situation yesterday. I had parked my 4 month old  motorbike and when I returned it was laying on the ground because some idiot had knocked it down when reversing. I was told by witnesses that the guy had stepped out of his car, looked at it, shrugged and drove away. Unfortunately, the witnesses didn´t bother to take down the  number plate. Not sure whether I´d want non-monetary punishment though but he should have to make a donation to some charity (and pay for the damage to my bike, of course).

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My lawyer hasn't contacted me for a week and I'm a little concerned as tomorrow will be 14 days since I've had the documentation from the Staatsanwalt. It is stipulated that I have 14 days to appeal before it goes to law (has legal force). Although there is definitely some query here as the documentation was sent to the police and not to me (normally by registered mail), as it should have been. The Lawyer said he would ask about this. 

 

They must have closed the office today for Fasching as there is no answer... Am I being panicky here? It's a simple enough request, that doesn't need much work, to correct what they estimate my income to be. Standard. For sure, I don't have all the facts and he will have, but I don't want this to cost me an extra 1,800Euros for the sake of a letter/fax asking for a limited appeal. Could do that myself. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now