What is a Hit and Run in California
The unthinkable has happened. You were driving down the highway and you looked away for a second—just a second. And BOOM! You hit another car. You are scared and nervous, and so you panic. You speed up and take off, hoping no one saw.
That is a hit and run, and while most Californians believe they are the best driver on the highway and that it would never happen to them, hit-and-runs are very common. In Los Angeles, they comprise an estimated 48% of accidents. If you face charges of a hit-and-run the first thing you should do is contact an experienced lawyer to handle your case or your hit & run sentencing. With 30 years of experience in the field, the Hit and Run Attorney team at Wallin & Klarich can help reduce your punishment or possibly have the charges dismissed.
Hit and Run Charges in California
Defined by California Vehicle Code sections 20001-20002, the penalties of hit-and-run convictions get worse as the circumstances of your accident gets worse. If all you caused was property damage, the worse charge you typically face is a misdemeanor. Conviction carries with it the possibility of a six-month jail sentence and a fine up to $1,000. Your best chance is to contact a lawyer immediately who can work with all the parties involved and help you avoid criminal penalties.
However, if the hit-and-run causes an injury it can be filed as a felony crime. The District Attorney can choose to charge the hit-and-run as a misdemeanor or a felony (a.k.a. a wobbler). A misdemeanor conviction carries up to a one-year sentence in county jail and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. A felony conviction can mean a jail sentence of up to 4 years and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. The team at Wallin & Klarich can work to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor, reduce your fines or sentence, or hopefully have your case dismissed.
Where the hit-and-run causes the death of another, the District Attorney can charge you with vehicular manslaughter. California Penal Code section 192 defines this as the unintentional killing of another that occurs while driving a vehicle. This crime in reality is involuntary manslaughter that occurs while driving. The penalty can be between 2 years for cases involving gross negligence to 10 years for cases involving auto insurance fraud. Depending on the circumstances, it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. And because you fled the scene, you face a possible additional 5 year prison sentence.
What A California Hit and Run Attorney Can Do For You
Under the California Vehicle Code, most cases of hit-and-run offer a variety of consequences. Our experienced team of Hit-and-Run Attorneys may convince the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. We will work with you to develop your defense and help you through this difficult time. The Hit-and-Run Attorney team of defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have decades of experience and success with hit-and-run cases. If you face potential hit-and-run charges, please contact us, you do not have to go it alone. We can help. Our experienced team will review your case and take the steps necessary to defend you. We have offices in San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or fill out our intake form for immediate assistance. We will get through this together.
- » What to Do If You are Involved in a Hit and Run (California Vehicle Code Section 20002)
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