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Hit and Run

Hit and Run: Misdemeanor vs Felony Charges

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Many people are familiar with the concept of a hit and run, but they might not realize that there are different ways you can be charged. Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Understanding the differences can help if you have been charged with a hit and run. 

What is a Hit and Run?

The legal definition of a hit and run is any accident in which a driver causes some sort of damage and then drives away without identifying themselves to the other parties involved. The driver must have caused some damage and they need to be aware that they caused damage. The damage can include property damage, such as hitting a mailbox or another car. A hit and run can also include injuries or even fatalities. To avoid a hit and run, the driver must identify themselves to the other parties, inform them of the damage, and/or show their driver’s license. 

Misdemeanor Charge 

The main difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge is the type of damage caused. If it’s only property damage and no injuries occurred, then you will end up with a misdemeanor charge. The specific circumstances determine the exact consequences of the charge. However, most misdemeanor hit and run charges come with up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1000. You may also be required to pay for the damage that you caused. Your license can be revoked and you will be put on probation for up to three years. 

Felony Charge 

You are charged with a felony hit and run if anyone was injured or killed as a result of your actions. Again, you must be aware that you caused injury or death and then left the scene without identifying yourself. If injuries were sustained, it’s likely that you will have to pay restitution to cover the cost of medical bills, loss of wages, emotional damages, and more. You may also be given a fine between $1000 and $10000 as well as 1-3 years in jail. If there is a fatality due to your actions, you may be given other charges that can increase your sentence.  If you’ve been charged with a hit and run of any kind, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. They can help you understand your charges, build a defense, and guide you through the process. You need to find a lawyer who is experienced in defending hit and run cases.  The Law Offices of Bradley Corbett have extensive experience in many areas. Click here to learn more about hit and runs and get in touch with an attorney. 

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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