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This is a new id for me (yes - I'm a FWF regular) to ensure there is as little digital trace available of this before this issue is resolved.

Today evening I receive the following letter in the mail from the Department of Police, <Some City>, CT:

-----------------------------------------------------
<My Name>

You are hereby given notice to call as soon as possible the Traffic Division, <address, phone number> in reference to the following matter <some digits - probably a case number>.

A Vehicle registered in your name was involved in a hit and run accident in this City.
-----------------------------------------------------

1. The car is registered in my name - although it is never driven by me. My husband who drives this car around.
2. The city mentioned is approximately 15 miles from our home.
3. My husband sometimes (once a week on average) commutes using this car. He crosses this city (on the highway) during his commute. He doesn't remember actually going into the city during the past 2 years.
4. I never drive the car and hubby has no (zero, ziltch, nada) recollection of any event that can be thought of as a hit and run incident.

I understand that I/hubby are essentially being accused of a felony offence. We are not US Citizens. So a felony accusation has some serious repurcussions for us. We strongly believe none of us was involved with anything remotely related to this.

What should be my next step?

Should I get a lawyer before anything else? If yes, how? How do we find out who would be a good lawyer in our area?
Should I call my insurance company and get them involved in this? Will they lawyer up on my behalf?

Any help would be highly appreciated.

<Edited to add>
Perhaps foolishly (before thinking too much) - my husband had called the number mentioned in the letter first thing after getting it. He got a "hit and run" voicemail and left a voicemail - without any identifying information (guess he just forgot it).

Member Summary
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Okay - I finally got the much awaited police report - with the following information in it:

Page 1:
A. Form data with som... (more)

newname79 (Dec. 30, 2011 @ 8:57p) |

Fatwallet Rule #1: DON'T CALL!

Crazytree (Dec. 30, 2011 @ 10:43p) |

Thanks for the updates. Glad it all worked out. Now go enjoy the new year without worry!

mrbeaubo (Dec. 31, 2011 @ 3:28a) |

Updated Summary:

12/21/2011:
Not a scam

OP called up the number from the .gov site hosting that city's police department and verified from there (after being redirected a couple of times) that this is an authentic police department officer and his number.

Also - the phone number that was in the letter was the officers desk number. It appears a little odd to me that his voicemail greeting (that I got yesterday evening) says "this is the hit and run department" recorded in his own voice (I spoke with him today morning).
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This sounds like a scam. What kind of police department sends this kind of notice by mail? If you were suspected of being in a hit and run, wouldn't you get a visit or phone call from an officer? Does the phone number match up with the actual number of the police department?

Bizatch said:   As long as you're here legally, you have nothing to worry about.


Try renewing a green card with a felony conviction, then tell us there's nothing to worry about.

Anyway - what harm would there be speaking to the police? They know who you are already. You didn't do it, try to find out why the police think your car was involved.

We are 100% legal, thank you. (for the more nosey - our status is Adjustment of Status through my husbands work GC Application).

Because we are legal - any "felony accusation" has serious consequences regarding any future admission via any port of entry - hence the repurcussion.

>> Does the phone number match up with the actual number of the police department?

The number given is apparently not there in their website. This is supposed to be their "hit and run" department.

Based on what I found in the google searches it's probably authentic - but there is no conclusive evidence. I'll have to look more into this possibility.

First verify this is an actual police letter
Call the police department using their phone number in the phone book or website , not the one on the letter. Verify everything , name case number etc. Request a copy of the case . You may need to pay $10 or so for the report.

Do not speak at all about the case if this letter is legitimate. Either call your insurer or attorney .

I would not go into the station. It makes it too convenient to arrest you on the spot. If they can't be bothered to come out to you. Don't come to them.

jjclancy said:   Bizatch said:   As long as you're here legally, you have nothing to worry about.


Try renewing a green card with a felony conviction, then tell us there's nothing to worry about.

Anyway - what harm would there be speaking to the police? They know who you are already. You didn't do it, try to find out why the police think your car was involved.


I think there would probably not be any harm in talking to the police. However, there is a surfeit of meterials online advising you otherwise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc).

Bizatch said:   You don't have to be a US citizen to be in the US. As long as you're here legally, you have nothing to worry about.

If, on the other hand, you're here illegally, pack your bags and pass the menudo.

Edit: Trying to hide from this accusation makes everyone believe you're 100% liable. Answer the charges.

My gut tells me your husband has been cheating on you for years, and this is going to expose him. He won't come clean to you until the bitter end.


I'm not a lawyer, but being accused of a felony is a serious matter. They should probably talk to a lawyer unless they can conclude it's a scam. Who is the "everyone" that you are saying that OP should try to convince? This isn't a PR matter, it's an accusation of a crime. It's not necessarily the sort of thing you can talk your way out of, and it could possibly make things worse even if you're innocent (remember Miranda rights?)

newname79 said:   >> Does the phone number match up with the actual number of the police department?

The number given is apparently not there in their website. This is supposed to be their "hit and run" department.

Based on what I found in the google searches it's probably authentic - but there is no conclusive evidence. I'll have to look more into this possibility.


I'd call the police department and ask them to connect you to their "hit and run" department...Sounds shady to me

Oh yeah, Is there any damage at all anywhere on your car? Either old or recent damage?

The police may ask to see your car.

Has your car had bodywork recently repaired?

The car is 10 years old and has its share of small scratches here and there.

It was involved in a rear end accident 4 years ago and had a large section in the rear replaced.

No recent bodywork or repairs (in fact none after the massive repair in 2007).

<edited to add>

Just went and checked the car again. Can't find anything in the front of the car that I can see.

I also checked if my number plates are intact (had heard criminals using stolen number plates). They are.

If you cannot afford an attorney, call your auto insurer. They will provide you with one. It may ding your CLUE report but, that is small potatoes in this situation.

jjclancy said:   Bizatch said:   As long as you're here legally, you have nothing to worry about.


Try renewing a green card with a felony conviction, then tell us there's nothing to worry about.

Anyway - what harm would there be speaking to the police? They know who you are already. You didn't do it, try to find out why the police think your car was involved.


This is a very serious situation. Get a lawyer immediately and do not talk to the police.

Here's why:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGgKLgVNfAo

It's a video of a law school class about why you should never talk to the police.

More information here:
http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/tutorials/never-talk-to-the-p...

money2011 said:   If you cannot afford an attorney, call your auto insurer. They will provide you with one. It may ding your CLUE report but, that is small potatoes in this situation.

I can probably afford an attorney - but the question is how to find a good one.

find out time and place of the accident and look for alibi

I would return the call in order to obtain more information. You want to get the time and date of the accident, along with the license plate number and the make of the car which was in the accident.

Did we get an answer from OP about matching the ph# on the letter to an actual PD#?

You don't need to pay for an attorney if you did not do it. You didn't do it, since you just own the car and you were not driving .

Three possibilities assuming the letter is real:
1. Either your husband is lying or just a bad driver and really did it
2.someone gave a wrong plate number of the car they think they saw
3. Someone saw scratches on your car and decided it would be convenient to blame you, so they wrote your plate down .

simcode said:   This is a very serious situation. Get a lawyer immediately and do not talk to the police.

Here's why:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGgKLgVNfAo

It's a video of a law school class about why you should never talk to the police.

More information here:
http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/tutorials/never-talk-to-the-p...


Your video link is basically the same as OPs. And why would you get a lawyer without first verifying the details of the case? That just makes you look guilty.

Does the letter really state "department of police"? That is very odd.

Did you google the phone number?

The longer you wait to contact the police, the more guilty you will look.

police investigate....this is what happen...someone reported you to police as being in hit and run. If you know the time of the incident and both of you can prove you were not at the scene..then you will be ok. It could be somone faking an injury if they saw your car and just reported it to the police...thats a lawyer issue.

This is not auto insurance issue...its hit and run...

You can get free legal advice...

Very strange..hit and run..they would be at your house right now.

If you have proof you were never at that location on the date and time of the incident...then you should be ok...but let me tell you from experience...I went to a gas station and some homeless person said I ran over his foot. It was clearly a scam on his part. I think he tried to get my licence plate..but I think he did not get it right. This could have happen to you...you could have been in the area and someone would say you bump them with your car.

Now..if you think you did hit this person....is lawyer time..and no speaking to the police.
If you know you did not hit this person...you can get more info from the police..but dont supply any info.

Note..somone has to indentify you.

Perhaps if you have to call the police I would actually contact the fraud department of the police and make a report. But you better make sure you WERE NOT IN THE AREA at the time of the incident.

It definitelty seems like some sort of phishing scam. I am excited to see how it plays out.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   You don't need to pay for an attorney if you did not do it. You didn't do it, since you just own the car and you were not driving .

Three possibilities assuming the letter is real:
1. Either your husband is lying or just a bad driver and really did it
2.someone gave a wrong plate number of the car they think they saw
3. Someone saw scratches on your car and decided it would be convenient to blame you, so they wrote your plate down .


This is the husband here.

I truly and seriously do not know anything about any hit and run accident. The only information I have at this point of time is the letter that DW had typed in verbatim in the OP.

I dont know anything about the date and the place of the "supposed" accident. Is the police supposed to give you the details of the FIR if you ask? Or is that supposed to be a secret till investigations are over?

newname79 said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   You don't need to pay for an attorney if you did not do it. You didn't do it, since you just own the car and you were not driving .

Three possibilities assuming the letter is real:
1. Either your husband is lying or just a bad driver and really did it
2.someone gave a wrong plate number of the car they think they saw
3. Someone saw scratches on your car and decided it would be convenient to blame you, so they wrote your plate down .


This is the husband here.

I truly and seriously do not know anything about any hit and run accident. The only information I have at this point of time is the letter that DW had typed in verbatim in the OP.

I dont know anything about the date and the place of the "supposed" accident. Is the police supposed to give you the details of the FIR if you ask? Or is that supposed to be a secret till investigations are over?

Did you google the number?

Quikboy4 said:   It definitelty seems like some sort of phishing scam. I am excited to see how it plays out.

My son got a red light ticket...but the car was register to me. The police wanted me to indentify the name of the person driving the car even though they knew (I sent pictures of myself) that I was not in the car.

The police refused to remove the ticket...but the judge did after seeing my pictures. Even though the police have knowledge that someone is not quilty...they are under no obligations to help.

Still..really strange...a letter....could be that someone might felt you bumped them...could be a parking lot..and they filed a police report. The problem is that the police need evidence...and unless they get proof you were there.....there is nothing they can do....well...they can bring a case to court....

Like I said..if you were in las vegas at the time of the incident..and have proof...or at some local resturant (receipts)..then the case drops.....BUT..if you could have been in the area...then you need to say nothing.

You can call them and get info...but dont reveal information. You ask them for information...unless of course...you did hit someone...then no point talking to them..

Hit-n-run doesn't have to be on the road with the car in motion; it could happen in parking lots, etc.:
http://www.justanswer.com/immigration-law/15l89-just-mail-de-dep...

Best thing to do is to ask insurance for advice.

Hire an attorney, say nothing, and have the attorney tell them to pound sand. Thank God for the 5th Amendment.

If they had anything, someone would have gotten some silver bracelets for Christmas.

IANYL

DeGlass said:   Hit-n-run doesn't have to be on the road with the car in motion; it could happen in parking lots, etc.:
http://www.justanswer.com/immigration-law/15l89-just-mail-de-dep...

Best thing to do is to ask insurance for advice.


That specific car (registered in the name of my wife) has not been parked anywhere within that specific city area for quite some time now (at least a few months - if not more).

jkimcpa said:   newname79 said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   You don't need to pay for an attorney if you did not do it. You didn't do it, since you just own the car and you were not driving .

Three possibilities assuming the letter is real:
1. Either your husband is lying or just a bad driver and really did it
2.someone gave a wrong plate number of the car they think they saw
3. Someone saw scratches on your car and decided it would be convenient to blame you, so they wrote your plate down .


This is the husband here.

I truly and seriously do not know anything about any hit and run accident. The only information I have at this point of time is the letter that DW had typed in verbatim in the OP.

I dont know anything about the date and the place of the "supposed" accident. Is the police supposed to give you the details of the FIR if you ask? Or is that supposed to be a secret till investigations are over?

Did you google the number?


what...NO DATE and TIME....forget it....there is no point contacting the police at all. You could call..but do not indentify yourself by name. Ask the specifics of the case number...and check to see if this is a real police department..

I think the OP is shady too. A few of us has asked "did you google the number", please answer this question.

google turns up the following results on googling the phone number:

1. http://m.government-offices.cmac.ws
Lists the "<City Name> City - Police Department - Hit Run" and gives an address. Looking up this address in google maps and yahoo seems to indicate there are some police department indeed located in this address. This does not conclusively proove that the phone number is indeed associated with this address.

2. http://www.merchantcircle.com
Same as above.

The rest of the hits seem quite irrelevant.

<Added>

The address given in the letter does not match the address that is pulled up either in the cmac.ws or merchantcircle website.

newname79 said:   google turns up the following results on googling the phone number:

1. http://m.government-offices.cmac.ws
Lists the "<City Name> City - Police Department - Hit Run" and gives an address. Looking up this address in google maps and yahoo seems to indicate there are some police department indeed located in this address. This does not conclusively proove that the phone number is indeed associated with this address.

2. http://www.merchantcircle.com
Same as above.

The rest of the hits seem quite irrelevant.


Wat?

Just post the number... Don't see why it wouldn't be available for the public.

If it doesn't clearly state a legitimate government authority, it's probably a scam. You shouldn't have to search through weeds to find a legitimate government/authority phone number.

Mr0ffic3r said:   newname79 said:   google turns up the following results on googling the phone number:

1. http://m.government-offices.cmac.ws
Lists the "<City Name> City - Police Department - Hit Run" and gives an address. Looking up this address in google maps and yahoo seems to indicate there are some police department indeed located in this address. This does not conclusively proove that the phone number is indeed associated with this address.

2. http://www.merchantcircle.com
Same as above.

The rest of the hits seem quite irrelevant.


Wat?

Just post the friggin' number.


Unfortunately that will identify way more than I'd like to at this point.

number -> Specific police department -> specific case -> us.

so you are being accused of a possibly serioius offense- and as you mentioned you aren't some US citizen with nothing to lose- you have A LOT to lose...
get a lawyer- dunno how to find a good one- ask friends/relatives/coworkers- a good local lawyer- look for someone who specialized in traffic law. Yes it's gonna cost you, but it sounds like the alternative (conviction with those repercusions) can be much worse.

DO NOT GIVE THE NUMBER HERE!!!

newname79 said:   Mr0ffic3r said:   newname79 said:   google turns up the following results on googling the phone number:

1. http://m.government-offices.cmac.ws
Lists the "<City Name> City - Police Department - Hit Run" and gives an address. Looking up this address in google maps and yahoo seems to indicate there are some police department indeed located in this address. This does not conclusively proove that the phone number is indeed associated with this address.

2. http://www.merchantcircle.com
Same as above.

The rest of the hits seem quite irrelevant.


Wat?

Just post the friggin' number.


Unfortunately that will identify way more than I'd like to at this point.

number -> Specific police department -> specific case -> us.


What nonsense... The phone number will not identify the specific case. Post the info or stop posting on this forum looking for free advice. This is pathetic.

newname79 said:   The car is 10 years old and has its share of small scratches here and there.

It was involved in a rear end accident 4 years ago and had a large section in the rear replaced.

No recent bodywork or repairs (in fact none after the massive repair in 2007).

<edited to add>

Just went and checked the car again. Can't find anything in the front of the car that I can see.

I also checked if my number plates are intact (had heard criminals using stolen number plates). They are.


About 5 years ago my father saw my car (or so he thought) driving down the highway and he knew I wasn't where he saw me.
He chalked it up to not seeing it right. He asked me for my license plate number, a week later he saw the same car (same make, model and color) with my license number driving down the same highway. Asked me again and I said i was no where near there. A week later I saw the same car driving down the same highway with my license plate number. I called the police department and they told me it wasn't as uncommon as one thinks, but it was pretty uncommon for someone to see it happen to them. I had to call and get new plates and file a report.

"He got a "hit and run" voicemail"

????????

Did they speak with a Nigerian accent?

Skipping 105 Messages...
Thanks for the updates. Glad it all worked out. Now go enjoy the new year without worry!



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