BICYCLISTS ARE HIT-AND-RUN VICTIMS TOO!

Posted on: February 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense, Violent Crime
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California Vehicle Code 20002

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn recent years, politicians in Los Angeles and Orange counties have increasingly asked residents to explore alternative transportation as local transportation agencies deal with stricter emissions standards and dwindling resources. According to the Los Angeles Times, hit-and-run accidents involving bicyclists increased by a disturbing 42 percent from 2002 to 2012 in Los Angeles County, and at least 36 bicyclists died in crashes where drivers fled the scene. Hit-and-run accidents involving bicyclists are on the rise in Orange County too, including the tragic death of 44-year-old Daniella Palacios in Anaheim on the day after Halloween last year.

You may be charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20002 if you leave the scene of an accident, but if anyone is injured or killed, the hit-and-run will be charged as a felony. Call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible if you are charged in Orange County with either felony or misdemeanor hit-and-run.

For bicyclists who are injured by drivers, a major disappointment is how rarely hit-and-run drivers are caught. About 80 percent of the hit-and-run cases in Los Angeles from 2008 to 2012 remain unresolved. With so many hit-and-run offenders getting away, prosecutors are aggressively prosecuting those who are arrested. It’s a crime you really do not want to be charged with in southern California these days.

In our state, it’s a felony to flee the scene of an accident that kills or severely injures someone, and a conviction can mean up to four years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Even in misdemeanor hit-and-run cases with no serious injuries, you could face up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. If you’re charged with hit-and-run in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, do not plead guilty, and do not try to act as your own attorney. Get trustworthy legal representation instead, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer at once.