CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CONSEQUENCES OF HIT AND RUN CHARGES IN CALIFORNIA – VC20002(a)(1) and VC 20001
A hit-and-run accident is a hazardous situation for you and the other car’s driver. You must understand that if you are engaged in an accident that results in either personal injury or property damage (including automobile damage or other physical property), and you leave the scene, you risk facing severe consequences.
For a person involved in a hit-and-run car accident, the vehicle’s driver may face criminal and civil consequences.
California Hit and Run
There are two forms of hit-and-run violations in California:
The California legislation that describes misdemeanor hit and runs is Vehicle Code 20002 VC. This provision covers when an accident only results in property damage rather than injury to another party. It is illegal to escape the scene in California without stopping and submitting your information.
According to VC 20002, “The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.”
Many individuals don’t realize that a VC 20002(a) arrest is more common than they assume. A misdemeanor hit and run can result in up to 6 months in jail and penalties of up to $1,000.00. You will also be required to pay compensation (also referred to as restitution) to the victim for property damage if you caused the accident. A conviction will also result in two points on your California DMV record, which will raise your insurance premiums.
However, in certain situations, such as a first-time offense without the presence of alcohol, a “civil compromise” under California Penal Code Section 1377 may be permitted. In these cases, the hit-and-run charges will be dismissed after you have adequately reimbursed the victim for the damages to their property.
The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony hit-and-run will be whether or not someone was hurt and possibly the amount and severity of property damage. If the accident solely results in property damage, the state can only prosecute you with a misdemeanor. However, if the hit-and-run victim is injured or killed, felony hit-and-run charges under California Vehicle Code 20001 VC may be filed.
In some misdemeanor hit-and-run instances, you may be able to have your criminal charges dropped if you accept full responsibility for the accident’s costs. The procedure is known as a “civil compromise,” outlined in California Penal Code 1378 PC. The court has the authority to dismiss the criminal accusations against you if you fulfill all of the requirements.
This form of restitution implies you’ll have to reimburse the harmed person for all of their losses. The injured victim may appear in court to inform the judge that all relevant expenses have been paid through insurance or by the defendant paying out of pocket for the costs. The court then has the authority and discretion to dismiss the charges.
Discussing with an Expert
Leaving the scene of an accident can result in significant criminal and civil consequences. For example, you might face penalties and jail time if you are engaged in a hit-and-run accident. In addition, you might potentially be sued for damages by the accident victim. So, if you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident or know someone who has, get legal aid right now. An expert attorney can assist you in understanding the charges and fines you face and protect your rights.
CALL THE TOP-RATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS RIGHT NOW
If you or a loved one is facing hit and run charges or other criminal charges in court, you need the criminal defense lawyers at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side. The attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers are trial attorneys with years of experience. They know the law, and they’re not afraid to take your case to trial.
In addition, they have a strong reputation among judges and prosecutors throughout Southern California, which has delivered tremendous victories for their clients. Our ultimate goal is to deliver the best results that can be achieved in your case— whether that be by way of outright dismissal, a favorable plea bargain deal, or an acquittal of the charges at trial.
With ALL Trial Lawyers by your side, you can rest assured that the criminal team will be giving you their all.
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If you have been accused or charged with a hit and run offense, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
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