The possibility of being charged with a hit-and-run is not an idea most Californians entertain. While hit-and-run accidents notoriously conjure up images of criminals fleeing the accident scene in desperation, this is not always the case. While this scenario does occur, if you accidentally hit a parked car in a parking lot and fail to leave a note or report the incident to the authorities, you can be charged with a crime.
If you are facing a hit-and-run charge in San Mateo County, do not hesitate to call our skilled lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, at 866-477-0965. You can also schedule a consultation with our team online.
California Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run - Vehicle Code §§'s 20001-20002
According to California Vehicle Code 20002VC, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that causes damage to another person's property, you have certain legal responsibilities. You must stop at the accident, give the other party your "identifying information and provide your driver's license and registration. Failure to do so can result in a California misdemeanor hit-and-run charge even if you are not at fault for the accident.
In addition, the misdemeanor law concerns ANY type of property damage. Even if you hit a parking meter, a stop sign or a mailbox, you are legally required to leave your information and notify the local police of the incident.
Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run Penalties
The penalties for a misdemeanor hit-and-run are nothing to be brushed aside. The series consequences can include:
- Up to three years of probation
- Six months of jail time
- Up to $1,000 fines
- Two points on your driving record
- Restitution to the victim for property damages
California Felony Hit-and-Run
According to California Vehicle Code 20001 VC, if you are involved in an accident in which the other party was injured or killed, you are legally required to remain at the scene of the accident and provide reasonable assistance to the injured parties. If you fail to meet these requirements and flee the scene of the accident, you can be charged with a felony hit-and-run.
Being charged with a California felony hit-and-run is a much more serious crime and if convicted, it can have severe ramifications both now and in the future. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the number of injured people and your criminal history, you can face long prison sentences and even a conviction of vehicular manslaughter. If you were found to be driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, you may face additional charges and penalties.
Some serious penalties of a felony hit-and-run charge include:
- If the injuries are not permanent, you can face up to three years in the California state prison.
- If the accident caused serious or permanent injuries, or if the accident resulted in another person's death, you can face up to four years imprisonment.
- If you are found to be guilty of vehicular manslaughter, you can face up to five years in prison PLUS additional penalties for vehicular manslaughter.
If you are charged with a hit-and-run in the State of California, it is important to obtain the services of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. The dynamic team of lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram will fight the charges of a hit-and-run. If a civil compromise is available, your attorney will fight to have your misdemeanor charges dismissed completely. If this is your first criminal offense, your lawyers may be able to negotiate lighter penalties without jail time. Even if you are a repeat offender, an aggressive and experienced defense is the best way to avoid lengthy imprisonment and hefty fines.
In many situations, police error, improper search and seizure or improperly administered blood alcohol content (BAC) tests can weaken the prosecution's case against you. We will investigate all angles of your case to build a strong and formidable defense.
Consult With A Knowledgeable Lawyer Regarding Your Defense
Being charged with a hit-and-run can be a traumatic and stressful experience. The attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram understand this and are committed to defending your rights and protecting your future. For more information about your defense, call Ahmed & Sukaram at 866-477-0965 right away about your felony or misdemeanor hit-and-run case.