IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH HIT-AND-RUN

Posted on: May 29, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Vehicle Codes 20001 and 20002

Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen a traffic accident leads to property damage or injuries, all drivers involved must exchange insurance and driver information – names, contact information, and license numbers. In California, intentionally leaving the scene of an accident that results in property damage or injury is considered hit-and-run. If you are involved in a traffic collision in southern California, do not leave the scene of the accident. If you’re convicted of misdemeanor hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20002, the penalties can include:

  • up to 6 months in jail
  • up to 3 years’ probation
  • a fine of up to $1,000 along with court-assessed penalties
  • restitution to any victim(s) whose property you damaged
  • two points on your driving record

If you damage someone’s property and leave the scene without identifying yourself and leaving contact information, you may face a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge. If you’re arrested, call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at once. If it’s your first offense and there are no aggravating circumstances, the charge can usually be dropped after you make complete restitution. However, if there is an injury or a fatality, the hit-and-run will almost inevitably be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of felony hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20001, the penalties can include a fine of up to $10,000, up to three years in prison, and up to four years in prison if a death or a serious injury is involved.

The precise circumstances of an accident and its immediate aftermath are the key to any hit-and-run case. But even if you crash into a deserted property or an unattended vehicle, you are still legally required to leave your name, contact information, and license number for the owner if he or she cannot be found. If for any reason – your own fears, a misunderstanding, or a misidentification – you are charged with hit-and-run in Orange County, get the legal help you need, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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