Leaving the Scene of an Accident/Hit & Run
f you are involved in an accident, there are certain things you must do. If you leave the scene of an accident you may be facing serious criminal charges.
Sometimes when an accident happens, our adrenaline kicks in and we don’t think straight. You may have been hurt or scared about what would happen if you stopped. While this doesn’t change the duty you have to stop, it does explain why you didn’t.
There are many reasons you may have left the scene. In a very light impact case there’s even the possibility you didn’t realize an accident had taken place.
We have experience in handling hit and run cases in California. We know all the situations that arise when an accident takes place. We also know our way around the California courts.
When you are up against criminal charges like these you need an attorney with knowledge of the law and the experience to back it up. Chances are we’ve handled a case very similar to yours. We are eager to represent you in court and defend you against your criminal charges.
Call to discuss your case today and let us know what happened. We are interested in your situation and want to help.
Duty to Stop
You are obligated by California law, to stop if you are involved in an accident. You must stop immediately or as soon as possible and return to the scene. You are then required to do the following:
- Locate the owner of the other vehicle and exchange documentation (insurance, registration, etc).
- If no one is with the other vehicle, leave a note with your information on it
- Immediately file a police report
- If someone is injured, provide reasonable assistance and help locate emergency officials
It is when you fail to take those required steps that you may be charged with leaving the scene of the accident.
Hit and Run – Potential Penalties and Sentence
Hit and Run charges can either be misdemeanors or felonies. This is determined by the prosecution and depends on the extent of the accident, if there was minimal property damage or serious injuries, and your criminal history.
The majority of hit and run cases are misdemeanors and carry a typical sentence of up to 6 months in jail as well as fines and restitution. Misdemeanor hit and runs usually involve accidents where there was little property damage and no injuries.
Felony hit and run usually applies to accidents that resulted in serious bodily harm or death. These charges can result in several years in state prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Because of the uniqueness of each case it is difficult to say with certainty what your potential sentence is. We want to hear the specifics of your case and speak with you about how we can help. Call for a consultation today.