Consequences of Fleeing from an Accident in CAAugust 30, 2022
In California, a person has committed a hit and run if they:
- Fled the scene of a motor vehicle crash
- Did not identify themselves to all the parties involved
- Caused damage to property or injured another person
Hit and run charges in California can be a misdemeanor or felony. If the crash only involved property damage, the charge is a misdemeanor. But if the crash involved an injury or a death, the charge becomes a felony.
It’s crucial to note that it does not matter whether you caused the crash. You must stop and exchange details with the other parties. It’s understandable to be confused and panicky after a crash but fleeing the scene of the crash can lead to serious penalties and criminal charges.
Penalties of Misdemeanor Hit and Run in CA
Vehicle Code 20002 provides that drivers involved in crashes resulting in property damage must:
- Stop their vehicle
- Exchange contact information and insurance details with the other parties involved
- Provide their vehicle registration and driver’s license information
Likewise, if you hit a parked vehicle or other property, such as a gate or fence, and you can’t find the owner, you must leave a note with your contact details and report the accident to the police. Otherwise, you may face a misdemeanor hit and run charge and, if convicted, may face the following penalties:
- A fine not exceeding $1,000
- Up to six months in county jail
- Two points on your driver’s license
In addition, you may face community service and probation for up to three years, depending on your driving record and criminal history.
Penalties of Felony Hit and Run in CA
Vehicle Code 20001 provides the legal requirements for drivers who were involved in motor vehicle crashes involving injury or death to another person. Failing to follow these requirements after a crash may lead to a felony hit and run charge:
- Stop your vehicle at the scene of the crash
- Give your vehicle registration, name, and contact information to the injured party
- Help the injured party seek medical assistance immediately, and this may include calling 911 or driving the injured party to the nearest hospital
- Talk to the responding police officer about the details of the crash
Failure to follow these legal requirements will result in a felony hit and run charge and the following penalties:
- 90 days in county jail or up to four years in state prison if the crash involved death or severe injuries
- A fine not exceeding $10,000
- Victim restitution
In some cases, the prosecutor can charge the defendant with a felony and misdemeanor hit and run.
Seek Legal Advice From a Top California Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you are facing a charge of felony or misdemeanor hit and run in California, reach out to the California criminal defense lawyer of Bamieh & De Smeth right away. The consequences of a conviction for hit and run can be severe, but by working with us, you’ll be giving yourself the opportunity to secure the most favorable outcome for your case.
Call 805-643-5555 or contact us online to set up your free consultation with our California criminal defense lawyer now.