What to Know About Hit and Runs in California
If you are involved in a hit and run case in California, then you should take the time to understand the laws surrounding hit and run cases. Hit and runs can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances and there are different types of defenses used in each case.
Misdemeanor Hit and Runs
In California, a misdemeanor hit and run is classified as any instance where a driver damaged another’s property without taking certain actions. It is a hit and run if the driver does not immediately stop after the accident to assess the situation and take action. It is also a hit and run if the driver does not exchange information with the person whose property was damaged. If charged with a misdemeanor hit and run, you are charged with fines and may also pay restitutions for any damages. Some cases also include possible jail time, probation, and/or points on your driver’s license which will raise your insurance.
Felony Hit and Runs
The main distinction between a misdemeanor and felony hit and run is if there is injury or death involved. It is a felony charge in these instances. The consequences for a felony hit and run are more severe than for a misdemeanor. In a misdemeanor case, you can be fined up to $1000 but this amount goes up to $10,000 for a felony charge. You can also face several years in jail and you will pay restitution to the other party. It is also possible to lose your driver’s license.
Defense for a Hit and Run Case
Hit and run cases are taken very seriously. However, there are certain defenses that can be used if you are charged with a hit and run. The defense that will carry the most weight is if you can prove that you did not know an accident occured. Proving that you knew about the accident is one of the first actions taken against you, so if you can prove you didn’t know then your case will be stronger. Other defenses include if there wasn’t any damage or injury or if you only damaged your own vehicle.
If you are charged with a hit and run, you need to thoroughly understand your situation and what actions you can take. The best choice for you is to hire an attorney to help strengthen your case and guide you through the process.
Talk to a hit and run lawyer today.
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.