A 20002(a) VC arrest is more common than many people think. It is the duty of California drivers to stop at the scene of an accident however minor, make reasonable attempts to provide identification, as well as notify law enforcement. Failure to do so can result in misdemeanor hit and run charges under California Penal Code 20002 – which focuses on hit and run affecting property rather than people. If the driver is a juvenile, the entire court process changes.
Read on to learn about the following:
1. Penalties Misdemeanor Hit and Run
2. How to Avoid Hit and Run Charges
3. Misdemeanor and Felony Hit and Run Distinction
4. What’s Not A Factor in Hit and Run Charges
5. Affect On Driving Record
6. How To Fight Charges
Penalties for Misdemeanor Hit and Run in California
Misdemeanor VC 20002(a) Penalties Include:
- 1 Year Imprisonment in Jail
- $1,000 – Maximum Fine
- 3 Years’ Probation
- Victim Restitution
- 2-Point Driver’s License Deduction
How to Avoid Hit and Run Convictions
Some of the tips for avoiding cvc 20002 charges include:
- Lawyers advise that drivers provide reasonable effort to leave identifying information at the scene of an accident.
- Drivers must ensure that insurance, vehicle registration and licensing information are all valid.
- In the event that no one is present to leave personal information, VEH Code 20002 states that the driver should leave a note in a visible area. The note should include a valid address as well as a short description of how the accident occurred.
- Drivers who are operating a vehicle owned by someone else should provide the identifying information of the registered owner
The Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Hit and Run
If another party at the accident was injured or killed, the driver who fails to stop, identify themselves, and provide reasonable aid could be charged with a felony hit and run. Felony Hit and Run is concerned with injury to a person versus an object.
Factors that Don’t Affect Hit and Run Charges
The prosecution team isn’t concerned with who is at fault in a hit and run case; the level of damage to vehicles or property; or how much property is damaged. The main elements of this crime include that a driver failed to stop, provide identification, as well as aid.
Top Defenses for Misdemeanor Hit and Run
Some of the top defenses for vc20002a include:
- Only the accused’s property was damaged and no one else’s
- The defendant was unaware that another’s vehicle or property was damaged
- The owner of the vehicle – who is the accused in this instance – was not the driver at the time
Affect On Driving Record
California is a vast state. One needs to travel great distances to get from one location to another. The best way to get around is with a vehicle. However, if a person loses their ability to drive due to a misdemeanor hit and run, it will vastly affect their lifestyle. It may cause the loss of driving ability, jail time, higher car insurance rates, and even a monetary fine.
While a misdemeanor may be considered a small infraction to some, it can cause major problems. Depending on the type of charge given, more than one judgment may be given. If the incident occurred while under the influence of alcohol or drugs this can lead to an additional charge. This could stay on your personal driving record for the rest of your life.
The judge that presides over your case may decide to have you spend time in jail. There have been cases where those charged have spent up to one year behind bars as punishment for the hit-and-run. After your release you may still incur probation time. You will still be unable to drive during this time and will need to report to a probation officer on a regular basis.
If any persons were harmed, you may be asked to pay for their health care and treatment. If any properties such as land, buildings, equipment, or automobiles were damaged in the event of your driving you may be asked to pay for that as well. The judgments cannot be wiped out with a bankruptcy. You could put your wealth and income at risk.
When you are charged with a misdemeanor hit and run, you will lose the ability to drive any vehicle. If you are caught driving without permission you could be charged with an additional misdemeanor, or even a felony. Any time privileges are lost you will need to pay any fines and fees as a penalty. You will also need to retake your driving test. There will be some time before you are given permission to do so.
You cannot drive any vehicle without automobile insurance. Any negative driving event will create points on your record. Insurance companies use a points based measuring system to decide the risk of a driver. And how much to charge for coverage based upon this risk. After receiving a misdemeanor charge you will be assigned points on your driving record. This may make obtaining coverage too expensive to afford. If you attain enough points your insurance company may decide to drop you and no other company will give you a policy. This will affect your employment ability if you must drive to work.
No one wants to get in an accident. Sometimes accidents can happen, however if you are charged with a misdemeanor it can have a negative impact not only on your driving record and privileges, but your lifestyle too. Jail time, probation, fines and fees, and higher insurance premiums can be the result of a misdemeanor hit and run. Before you make any decision about your driving future, make sure to get the advice of a criminal defense lawyer who can provide you with possible options.
How to Fight Hit and Run Accusations in California
If you’re facing 20002 cvc charges, the hit and run attorneys at MacGregor and Collins can help. We’ll bring the best defense through 30 years of legal experience. Call us today at 888-250-2865 for a free 20002(a) vc case evaluation.