A hit and run is a very serious offense, but the law does note the difference between a hit and run involving property damage, and a hit and run where people are injured, with the latter being far more serious. If you’ve been charged with a hit and run give the experienced Fight My Ticket attorneysa call at 1-800-655-7505 orfill out the form.
The Law Regarding Misdemeanor Hit and Run
Getting into a car accident is often very jarring. Whether it’s a fender bender or a serious wreck, every accident leaves the parties involved in a state of shock. Sometimes a driver involved in a car accident decides to simply drive away in order to avoid dealing with the unpleasant aftermath of an accident. But driving away from an accident when there is property damage involved is a crime.
Vehicle Code 20002 states that if you are involved in a collision and there is property damage, you must pull over at the closest safe location that does not interfere with traffic or jeopardize anyone’s safety, and you must provide your personal information to the other party. If you fail to do those things, you can be charged with a hit and run.
People often think that a hit and run only concerns two vehicles, but that is not the case. A hit and run can involve any type of property such as a stop sign, a mailbox or someone’s pet. If a motorist gets into any type of collision, whether it’s with another car, a bicyclist or even someone’s mailbox, is it mandated by law that they need to stop and provide their personal information to the other party. In the case where you cause property damage but the other party is not present, you must leave a note on the vehicle or the property stating your name and address and then notify the police.
In order to prove that a hit and run occurred, a prosecutor must prove the following:
- The defendant was driving when they were involved in a car accident.
- The accident caused damage to someone else’s property.
- The defendant was aware, or should have been aware, that the accident caused property damage.
- The defendant purposely did not stop at the scene of the accident or they failed to provide the other party their identifying information.
It’s also important to remember that both parties have a duty to stop after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Defenses for Hit and Run
There are different defenses an attorney can argue on behalf of his client when it comes to a hit and run charge. The most common are:
- They were falsely accused: many times a person might be falsely accused of a hit and run due to personal issues with the other party where they are motivated by revenge or anger.
- There was no property damage: a solid defense strategy is to show that there was no property damage to the other party. So while the defendant might have left the scene of the accident, they did not cause any damage.
- They were arrested after an unlawful search and seizure: if the authorities discover evidence due to an unlawful search and seizure, your attorney can argue to get it excluded from your case, which can often times result in a case dismissal due to lack of evidence.
Penalties for Hit and Run
Violating Vehicle Code 20002 is a misdemeanor in California. The penalties can include:
- A county jail sentence of up to 6 months.
- A fine of $1,000.
Contact Los Angeles Hit And Run Attorneys
Misdemeanor offenses can lead to a criminal record as well as a bad driving record, therefore they should not be taken lightly. If you have been accused of a misdemeanor hit and run in Los Angeles call our experienced hit and run attorneys at Fight My Ticket for a free consultation. Call us at 1-800-655-7505 orfill out the form.