Can a sheriff assume a person is guilty in an auto collision without completing an investigation?
Question Details: The investigating officer kept telling my dad he already knew he was at fault while attempting to take his statement. My dad was compliant and not hostile at all but the officer seemed to be hostile. After the investigation the officer just left my entire family at the scene with a vehicle that had all the airbags deployed. He did not offer to call a tow truck or attempt to make sure we were okay.
The sheriff's opinion as to fault is just that: an opinion. It is not a judicial or court determination and has no legal or binding effect. At most it is evidence of fault--the opinion of someone who is (presumably) knowledgable about this--and so may have some weight in a trial or lawsuit, but again, has no actual legal effect. So since it is just his opinion, he can come to it without an investigation.