Can You Be Charged with Hit and Run if You Returned to the Scene? (VC 20001 & 20002)
Being invovled in a car accident can be scary. The shock of being in a collision with another vehicle may cause you to panic and flee the scene. Let’s say this happens to you, but you soon begin to realize you made a mistake. If you return to the scene of the accident, can you still be charged with hit and run?
California Hit and Run Laws (VC 20001 & 20002)
Under California Vehicle Code 20002, you may be charged with misdemeanor hit and run if you are involved in a traffic accident where property damage occurs and you leave the scene of the accident without identifying yourself to the other parties involved. You are required to stop your vehicle at the nearest safe location without impeding traffic when you are involved in a traffic accident.
You could be charged with felony hit and run under California Vehicle Code 20001 if you are involved in a car accident where serious injury or death occurs and you fail to stop at the scene.
Hit and run laws apply even if you were not at fault in the vehicle collision.
If convicted of misdemeanor hit and run, you face up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in county jail. If convicted of felony hit and run, you face up to $10,000 in fines and up to 3 years in jail.
Is Returning the Scene of the Accident a Defense to Hit and Run?
Now, let’s say you fled the scene of an accident, but then you realized you made a mistake, so you returned to the scene. Will the fact that you returned to the scene be a valid legal defense to hit and run charges?
Returning to the scene of the accident is not a valid legal defense to hit and run charges. This shows that you were aware of the accident but chose to leave the scene anyway. However, the fact that you returned to the scene could be used by your attorney as a mitigating factor in your case to help you obtain a lighter sentence.
So, what are some valid legal defenses to hit and run charges?
One valid legal defense would be that you were unaware you had been involved in an accident. If you did not know that you were involved in a collision, this may explain why you did not stop at the scene of the accident.
Another valid defense that our experienced hit and run defense lawyers may be able to use in your case is that you were simply looking for a safe location to pull your vehicle over. California roads are filled with traffic, so it can be difficult to find a safe place to stop.
Contact the Hit and Run Defense Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love has been accused of hit and run, you should speak to an experienced hit and run defense lawyer immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have more than 40 years of experience successfully defending clients facing hit and run charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich hit and run defense lawyer available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.