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.
Find a complete guide about Hit and Run in California through the expertise of our defense attorneys. Read about:
1. What Is 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. Top Defenses for Hit and Run in California
Penalties for Misdemeanor Hit and Run in California
Misdemeanor Charges 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 hit and run 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 this crime 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
How to Fight Hit and Run Accusations in California
If you’re facing hit and run 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.