Hit and Run
You may be arrested for hit and run when you cause damage to an individual and/or his or her property and leave the scene before producing your driver's license or other driver documentation. Hit and run may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances in your particular case and how serious the damage. At The Justice Firm, we vigorously defend those charged with any type of criminal offense, including hit and run. We understand the consequences of a conviction to our clients' freedom, reputation, and futures, and work aggressively to obtain good results.
According to California law, anyone who is involved in a car or vehicle accident must properly identify him or herself if injury or damage results to another individual's person or property. Leaving the scene of an accident without identifying yourself, particularly when injury or damage occurs, could potentially leave you facing criminal charges. Our Los Angeles hit and run lawyers have the experience, skill, and aggressive approach essential to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.California Vehicle Codes
Vehicle Code Section 20002. When an accident occurs and results solely in the damage of property (such as vehicle damage), the driver who caused the accident must stop and attempt to find the owner of the property or person in charge so that driver documentation may be exchanged. When the owner cannot be found, the driver must take specific actions before leaving the scene, which includes reporting the accident to local police or CHP, and leaving a note for the property owner which details driver documentation information and the facts regarding the accident.
Vehicle Code Sections 20001, 20003, and 20004. Should the accident result in injury or death of another person or persons, it is required that the individual who caused the accident offer reasonable assistance to those who are injured in addition to performing the actions mentioned above in Section 20002.Criminal Penalties for Hit and Run in Los Angeles
Depending on certain factors including the seriousness of the accident, prior criminal record, and extend of damage, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony hit and run. Criminal penalties range from fines, restitution, and no jail time to time spent in state prison, probation, and community service depending on the details of your case.
Misdemeanor. If you have no criminal record and are involved only in a minor fender bender that results in only minor property damage and no physical injury, it is likely you will be charged with misdemeanor hit and run. Criminal penalties may include jail time of up to 180 days, and fines of up to $1,000.
Felony. Hit and run which involves the injury or death of another party or parties may be charged as a felony, although this is a "wobbler" offense in California which means it may be charged either as a misdemeanor or felony. Although it is termed "felony hit and run," if charged as a misdemeanor fines may be as much as $10,000, with up to one year in jail. If charged as a felony and convicted, individuals face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000, along with prison time of 16 months to three years. However, it is important to note that if another individual sustained a serious permanent injury or was killed, prison terms are increased to two to four years.
Regardless of how minor or serious the situation may seem, it is always to a defendant's benefit to secure the legal guidance and support of a capable Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer if you expect to escape harsh criminal penalties.Contact The Justice Firm Today
Anyone who has been arrested or charged with hit and run must have a seasoned defense attorney on their side. Although you are innocent until proven guilty, prosecutors are vigorous in their efforts to secure a conviction. Our attorneys are confident and effective both in and out of the courtroom, providing clients with compassionate support and an outstanding defense. Contact us immediately, or call 310-914-2444 for a free consultation regarding your case.