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California Hit And Run Attorney – Vehicle Code 20002 VC

What Can A Hit And Run Defense Lawyer Do For Me?

Do you need help from hit and run defense lawyer because the state of California has charged you with a felony hit and run or misdemeanor hit and run offense? My Rights Law is here for you and will work tirelessly to defend you and protect your rights. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, reach out to My Rights Law’s traffic violations lawyer by calling (888) 702-8882 or contacting us through our secure web form.

What Is A Hit And Run?

A hit and run is when a motor vehicle driver is involved in a collision with another’s property, usually another vehicle, and then leaves the scene without providing their contact information to the property owner. In California, if you are a driver involved in a hit and run, you can be charged with a felony[1] or a misdemeanor[2].

If you cause a collision, but no one is injured, the prosecutor can charge you with a misdemeanor but not a felony. If you cause a crash and injure another person, the prosecutor can charge you with a misdemeanor or even a felony. However, the fact that you injure someone by itself will not raise your hit and run to a felony. The Court must consider the gravity of the person’s injuries when hearing your case. Generally, the more severe the person’s injuries, the more likely the prosecutor will charge you with a felony.

What Are The Hit And Run Laws In California?

To convict someone with a misdemeanor hit and run, the prosecutor must prove:

  • While driving, the defendant hit someone’s property other than their own;
  • The defendant knew or should have known that they were involved in an accident; and
  • The defendant failed to stop at the scene and leave their contact information.[3]

To convict someone of a felony hit and run, the prosecutor must prove:

  • While driving, the defendant hit someone’s property other than their own[4];
  • The accident caused a severe injury and/or death to another person;
  • The defendant knew or should have known that they were involved in an accident that severely injured and/or killed another person; and
  • The defendant did not stop at the collision scene and leave their contact information.

What Are The Hit And Run Penalties In California?

If the Court convicts you with a misdemeanor where no one was injured, the sentence can be up to 6 months in the county jail. You could also have to pay a fine of up to $1,000[5]. If the Court convicts you with a misdemeanor where another person was injured, the sentence can be up to one year in the county jail. You may also have a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. For a felony conviction, the sentence can be up to 4 years in state prison. You may also have to pay a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. Aside from fines and jail time, your driver’s license could be revoked.

What Are Some Hit And Run Defenses?

The defendant in a hit and run case can assert multiple defenses. Below are some common hit and run defenses.

There Was No Damage To Anyone Else’s Property

If the hit and run accident does not cause damage to another person’s property, then you cannot be convicted of a hit and run violation. Likewise, if there is only your property damage, then you cannot be convicted of a hit and run violation. You must do damage to someone else’s property.

For example, if you were driving your vehicle home after work and hit and damaged the other car you left parked in your driveway, you cannot be convicted of a hit and run violation. This applies even if you leave the scene without leaving your information. You will not be convicted of a hit and run violation because you did not damage anyone else’s property.

Someone Else Drove Your Car And Caused Damage To Another’s Property

If someone other than you drove your vehicle and was involved in an accident with another person’s property, then you will not be convicted of a hit and run violation. For example, if someone borrows your vehicle and hits another person’s car while driving your vehicle and abandons the scene without leaving their information, you cannot be convicted of a hit and run violation. In this case, it was not you that was involved in the accident.

The same applies in a situation where someone steals your vehicle and hits and damages another’s property. You will not be convicted of a hit and run violation if you were not involved in the accident.

You Did Not Know That You Hit Another Person’s Property

If you did not know, nor was it reasonable for you to know, you were involved in an accident, then you will not be convicted of a hit and run violation. For example, if you were driving your vehicle down the street, and you accidentally sideswiped and ripped off the side mirror of another person’s vehicle with your vehicle, but you did not know you were involved in an accident, then you will not be convicted of a hit and run violation. If you do not know, nor would a reasonable person under the circumstances have known that they were involved in a hit and run accident, the prosecutor cannot convict you with a hit and run violation.

California Hit And Run Lawyers

If you are charged with a hit and run violation, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand what is at stake and how the attorney could help you defend against a conviction. The skilled hit and run lawyers at My Rights Law have defended countless people against hit and run charges. To learn more, reach out to My Rights Law by calling (888) 702-8882 or completing our secure web form.

Other traffic violations crimes we defend include: Driving Without A License, Vehicular Assault

FOOTNOTES
[1] California Vehicle Code 20001
[2] California Vehicle Code 20002
[3] People v. Carbajal (1995), 10 Cal.4th 1114
[4] In this context property does not include a pet. People v. Fimbres (1930), 288 P. 19
[5] California Vehicle Code 20002c

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