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California Hit and Run Punishment and Sentencing (CVC 20001 and CVC 20002)

California law authorizes sentencing for a conviction of hit and run pursuant to two vehicle codes. Vehicle Code Section 20001 prescribes penalties for hit and run causing injury; permanent, serious injury (also known as “serious bodily injury”); or death. “Permanent, serious injury” means the loss or permanent impairment of function of a bodily member or organ.

Vehicle Code section 20002 prescribes hit and run punishment causing property damage only.

Depending on the seriousness of the crime, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich want you to be aware of the punishment you face if you are convicted of either CVC 20001 or CVC 20002 1.

If you are facing charges for a hit and run in California, Wallin & Klarich may be able to help you avoid serious hit and run punishments.

Hit and Run Causing Injury (CVC 20002(b)(1).)

In California, a hit and run causing injury to someone other than yourself is what is known as a “wobbler” – meaning the prosecution may charge you with either a misdemeanor or felony. How you are charged depends on the seriousness of the injuries to the injured party and on your criminal record, if any.

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor violation of CVC 20001(b)(1), you face the following hit and run punishment:

  • Imprisonment in jail for up to one year;
  • A fine between $1,000 and $10,000 dollars; or
  • Both, imprisonment and a fine.

A felony conviction under CVC 20001(b)(1) is punishable by:

  • Up to three years in jail;
  • A fine between $1,000 and $10,000 dollars; or
  • Both, imprisonment and a fine.

Hit and Run Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death (CVC 20002(b)(2).)

Hit and Run Punishment
Hit and Run Punishment for Causing Serious Injury or Death

A hit and run that causes serious bodily injury to another or results in death may also be charged as a wobbler. However, due to the more serious nature of the crime, the penalties are more severe. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor violation under CVC 20001(b)(2), you face a hit and run punishment of:

  • A minimum of 90 days and up to one year in jail;
  • A fine between $1,000 and $10,000 dollars; or
  • Both, imprisonment and a fine.

However, in the interests of justice, the court may reduce or eliminate the mandatory minimum 90-day sentence.

If you are convicted of a felony violation under CVC 20001(b)(2), you face a hit and run punishment of:

  • Two, three or four years in prison;
  • A fine between $1,000 and $10,000; or
  • Both, imprisonment and a fine.

Hit and Run Punishment After Vehicular Manslaughter

If you leave the scene of the crime after committing vehicular manslaughter as described in Penal Code Sections 191.5 or 192(c)(1), your hit and run punishment can be enhanced by an additional, consecutive term of five years in prison.

For more information, please see our practice areas under Intoxicated Vehicular Manslaughter and Vehicular Manslaughter.

Hit and Run Causing Property Damage (CVC 20002)

Hit and run causing property damage only is a misdemeanor. If you are found in violation of CVC 20002, you face a hit and run punishment of:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • A fine of not more than $1,000 dollars; or
  • Both, imprisonment and fine.

Additional Consequences of a Hit and Run Conviction

Hit and Run Punishment and Sentencing
Additional Punishments
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will add a minimum of two points to your driving record for a conviction of hit and run. If you receive four points in a 12-month period, your license can be suspended for a minimum of six months. Depending on your previous driving record, your license could be suspended in addition to your hit and run punishment.
  • Your car insurance provider will almost certainly raise your premiums, or cancel your coverage.
  • You can be sued by the owner of the property you damaged. If you have insurance, you could be liable for any amount not covered by your insurance company.
  • You can be sued by anyone injured in the accident if you are found to be at fault.
  • If you kill someone, in addition to any criminal punishment you suffer, the family of the victim is entitled to sue you civilly for wrongful death, exposing you to significant monetary damages.

Contact our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today if you are facing hit and run charges

hit and run attorney
Contact Wallin & Klarich today

If you or someone you know has been charged with hit and run, you could be facing serious consequences. You need to contact an experienced defense attorney. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully representing our clients facing hit and run punishements.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich will make certain all of your rights are protected. We may be able to get the charges against you dismissed; or, we will aggressively negotiate for a reduced sentence allowing you to avoid the more serious consequences of a hit and run conviction such as imprisonment, fines and the loss of your driving privilege. We are committed to getting you the best possible result in your case.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.


All of the information provided on this page was retrieved from the following sources:

1. [California Vehicle Code Section 20001 & 20002: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=19001-20000&file=20000-20018]

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California DUI Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a criminal attorney for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California. * Wallin & Klarich Attorney Joshua Visco