What can I do if I was in an auto accident with a motorcycle in which a women lost her leg but I got scared and left for a time although I came back?

The accident was deemed my fault. I saw her bone and freaked out and left the scene but came back to give my insurance and face the police. I was gone literally a couple of minutes at most and beat the police to the scene. I ended up with a witness being able to shift responsibilty of the accident to her from a former police officer and gave the statement to my insurer but told them it was just for my protection and to give her my liability coverage. However, she now wants me to give her $25,000 or she’s going to try to get me charged with a felony hit and run. The officer on the scene only charged me with a misdemeanor. Can she do it and can I fight it?

Asked on November 21, 2015 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

She can't "get you charged" with a felony--it's not under her control, since it's the state (the authorities) who decide whether and what to charge. She can ask the prosecutor to upgrade the charges, but the prosecutor is under no obligation whatsoever to do so. Since from what you write, the authorities have already concluded that this was a misdemeanor, it is unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely) that they will now upgrade the charges.
It is a crime, however, to threaten someone with prosecution to make them pay you money: it's a form of extortion. You may wish to inform the police of this threat.


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