Hit and Run Defense Attorney
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal violation that can have profound consequences. In California there are two types of hit and run charges – misdemeanor offenses (Vehicle Code Section 20002) and felony offenses (Vehicle Code Section 20001).
Under Section 20002, a misdemeanor, is defined as “any driver of a vehicle” leaving the scene of an accident without stopping to identify themselves. That means you don’t have to be the owner of the vehicle that you were driving in order to be arrested for a hit and run. A common example of a misdemeanor hit and run is when someone accidentally crashes into a person’s front yard, causes property damage, and then leaves the scene without identifying themselves
Under Section 20001, a hit and run is a felony if “any driver of a vehicle” is involved in “an accident that results in injury or death to another person”. If you were caught leaving the scene of an accident while knowing an injury likely occurred, you could face serious felony charges.
If you are charged with a hit and run, regardless of whether your charge is a misdemeanor or felony, you will need a strong hit and run defense. Penalties for a misdemeanor include up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and two points on your California driver’s license. If convicted of a felony, you face a minimum of 90 days in jail, up to 4 years in a state prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
The details of a hit and run can make or break your case. Because of this you need the help of an experienced hit and run defense attorney. A good attorney will craft the right legal defense for you. This may include determining whether you exchanged information, left a note after the accident, whether there was the absence of property damage, and whether you were falsely accused.
The strongest defense might be that you were not driving the vehicle involved in the accident. For example, if your car was stolen car, and you reported it, you might be able to prove that it was impossible for you to have been the driver at the time of the accident. In fact, you might even be able to sue one or more of the drivers if this occurs.
Furthermore, it can be difficult to prove criminal liability if you were a passenger at the time of the accident. To be found at-fault as a passenger, the defendant would have had to have interfered with the driver’s ability to control the vehicle, such as grabbing the steering wheel or distracting the driver in some way.
Your Defense Expert
If you were accused of hit and run charges and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Orange County, call the Law Offices of David A. Stein today. We understand that the consequences of a hit and run can be life-altering and will craft the best DUI defense. After a review of your case we will determine if a dismissal is possible, advocate on your behalf, or negotiate the best plea deal for you if you go to trial. Make sure a DUI charge doesn’t ruin your life.