April 13, 2021 By Paul Wallin

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU IF YOU ARE ACCUSED OF FELONY HIT AND RUN (20001 CVC)

To be convicted of felony hit and run, the prosecution must establish the following elements:

  1. You were driving a vehicle;
  2. While you were driving the vehicle, it was involved in an accident;
  3. As a result of the accident, another person was physically injured or killed;
  4. You knew an accident had occurred;
  5. You knew or reasonably should have known, based on the nature of the accident,  that another person was injured or killed; and
  6. You willfully failed to perform any of the following duties:
  7. Immediately stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident;
  8. Provide your identifying information and the identifying information of any of your injured passengers to the other parties involved and to any on-scene law enforcement officers.;
  9. Provide reasonable assistance to any injured person(s) to help secure medical attention; and
  10. Upon request, provide your driver’s license and the driver’s license or other identification of your injured passengers to the other parties involved and/or to any on-scene law enforcement agency.

In addition to the above, if the accident results in death and there is no law enforcement officer present at the scene, you are also required to immediately contact your local police department or California Highway Patrol office and provide them with the above information.

Important Note: As mentioned above, these requirements are imposed on a driver regardless of who is responsible for causing the accident or the severity of the injuries. 

Defenses to California Felony Hit and Run

Successfully defending a felony hit and run charge will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, as well as whether you have a skilled hit and run criminal defense attorney fighting for you. The following are some of the successful defenses we have used in other cases to have felony hit and run charges dismissed.

1. Mistaken identity

If we can show that another person was driving your car when the accident occurred that can lead to a dismissal of the charges. 

 

Exception: It is important to note that this defense may not be successful in the situation where you are a passenger in your own car and you advise the driver to break this law.[7]

 

2. You were the only person injured

If we can show that the accident did not cause injury to anyone other than yourself you cannot be convicted of felony hit and run.

 

3. You didn’t realize you were in an accident or you didn’t realize there were injuries

If we can show that you did not know that you were involved in an accident, you cannot be found guilty of felony hit and run. Similarly, if you had no knowledge of any injuries and had no reason to believe that any injuries occurred, you cannot be found guilty of felony hit and run.

 

4. You did not willfully fail to stop at the scene, provide the required information, or give reasonable assistance

If we can show that your failure to stop at the scene, provide the required information, or give reasonable assistance was beyond your control, we can use that defense to attempt to have the charges dismissed against you.  

 

For example, as a result of the collision, you are knocked unconscious. Fearing for your safety, an uninvolved bystander drives you to the hospital. Even though you left the scene, you had no control over the actions of the bystander. Therefore, because someone else acted for you, your failure to satisfy 20001 VC was not willful.Hit and Run Defense Attorneys Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Orange County

 

Penalties for California Felony Hit and Run

California Vehicle Code 20001 VC creates two different sets of possible penalties. One set is for accidents that result in injury and the other is for accidents that result in death or “permanent, serious injury.” “Permanent, serious injury” means the loss or permanent impairment of function of a bodily member or organ.

 

Additionally, despite having the name “felony hit and run”, California Vehicle Code 20001 VC is what is known as a “wobbler.” A wobbler is an offense that the prosecutor may charge as a felony or a misdemeanor.

 

If convicted of California felony hit and run resulting in injury (non-permanent), you face any or all of the following:

 

  •     A fine of $1,000 to $10,000 (same if felony or reduced to misdemeanor)

 

  •     Up to 3 years in a California State Penitentiary (if felony)

 

  •     Up to 1 year in county jail (if reduced to misdemeanor)

 

If convicted of California felony hit and run resulting in death or permanent, serious injury, you face any or all of the following:

 

  •     A fine of $1,000 to $10,000 (same if felony or reduced to misdemeanor)

 

  •     Up to 4 years in a California State Penitentiary (if felony)

 

  •     A minimum of 90 days and up to 1 year in county jail (if reduced to misdemeanor)

 

Additionally, the DMV will impose 2 points on your driving record if you are convicted of any California hit and run offense, misdemeanor or felony.

Contact the Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich to Learn More

If you are charged with a misdemeanor hit and run, your freedom may depend on choosing an experienced attorney. Wallin & Klarich has been successfully defending people accused of vehicular crimes for over 40 years. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and let us help you, too.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-4279 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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