Hit and Run Offenses
What is a Hit & Run Offense?
The criminal act commonly referred to as a hit and run occurs when a person who is involved in a motor vehicle collision leaves the scene without properly identifying themselves or producing the proper driver documentation. According to California law, all individuals involved in car accidents must properly identify themselves if they injure another person or cause damage to another persons property regardless of the amount of damage! If a person fails to properly identify themselves and leaves the scene of the accident, he or she will be subject to criminal charges.
Misdemeanor or Felony Hit & Run
A hit and run offense in California may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the seriousness of the accident, the extent of the damage caused, and the defendants past criminal record.
Misdemeanor For minor traffic accidents where there is minimal property damage and no physical injury a misdemeanor offense will most likely be charged by the District Attorneys Office. Under California law misdemeanor hit and run is defined as, failure to immediately stop at the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage.
Felony When bodily injury or death results from the collision and resulting hit and run offense, a felony will most likely be charged by the District Attorneys Office. A felony hit and run in California is defined as, failure to immediately stop at the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death or permanent injury to any person associated with the accident.
California Hit & Run Penalties
If a person is convicted of a Hit & Run offense in California the court will evaluate a variety of factors prior to sentencing such as the nature of the accident, if any person was injured during the accident, the severity of the other persons injuries (if any), cooperation with law enforcement, the extent of property damage, and if the defendant has any prior offenses on his/her criminal record. If a person is convicted of a hit and run offense they face the possibility of spending time in jail or prison, being supervised on a lengthy probation, paying large fines and fees, and losing your drivers license!
Due to the life-altering legal consequences that are involved with Hit & Run offenses, it is always in a persons best interest to obtain the services of a criminal defense attorney who has the legal background and knowledge it takes to successfully fight hit and run charges.