In October of 2011, our client was arrested by the Providence Police Department and charged with two (2) charges, felony driving a motor vehicle without the owner's consent and misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident – property damage resulting.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 31-26-2, leaving the scene of an accident – resulting in property damage is defined as, the driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible, but shall immediately return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of § 31-26-3. A stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
The penalties if convicted include a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and/or his or her driver's license or operating privilege in the state may be suspended for a period up to six (6) months, and/or he or she may be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 6 months.
Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-9-1, operating a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner is defined as any person who drives a vehicle, not his or her own, without the consent of its owner or lessee, and with intent temporarily to deprive the owner or lessee of his or her possession of the vehicle, without intent to steal the vehicle, is guilty of a felony. The consent of the owner or lessee of a vehicle to its taking or driving shall not in any case be presumed or implied because of the owner's or lessee's consent on a prior occasion to the taking or driving of that vehicle by the same or a different person. Any person who assists in, or is a party or accessory to or an accomplice in any unauthorized taking or driving, is guilty of a felony.
The penalties if convicted include a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) or imprisoned for a term of not more than five (5) years, or both.
However, due to Attorney Humphrey's skill and experience handling serious felony cases, the felony was dismissed at our Client's arraignment in Superior Court. Our client received a filing, which is not a criminal conviction and he never lost his license. This case is eligible for expungement in one (1) year which is extremely beneficial to our Client who works in the financial industry and needed a clean criminal record.