What is a Hit and Run in California?
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Hit and Run in California laws require drivers to do different things, for example: stopping, giving information, and helping, depending on the situation.
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Drivers involved in accidents must immediately stop at the scene of the accident and provide identification and other information, and help injured persons.
Depending on each case, some things are unnecessary and legally excused. This is why you should get solid advice from Attorney Richard Wagner. Read Richard Wagner's bio Call (714) 721-4423 about your VC 20002 or VC 20001 hit-and-run case.
Hit and Run – Property Damage – Vehicle Code 20002
The driver in an accident resulting only in damage to property, including another car, must immediately stop at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize other motorists' safety.
The driver must also immediately do either of the following:
(a) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of the name and current residence address of the driver and registered owner of the car, and, if requested, present her driver's license and vehicle registration to those persons and any other driver involved in the accident. If present, the registered owner of the vehicle must also, on request, present her driver's license or other valid identification to the other involved parties.
(b) Leave a notice in a conspicuous place on the damaged property, giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle and a statement of the circumstances of the accident, and without unnecessary delay notify the police or, if the accident is in an unincorporated territory, the California Highway Patrol.
Punishment for Hit and Run – VC 20002 – Police Code 20002
Vehicle Code Section 20002(a) is a misdemeanor hit and run.
It is punishable by county jail for not more than 6 months, a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.
Is Hit and Run a Felony in California?
Hit and Run Injury or Death – Vehicle Code 20001 – Felony
The driver of a car in an accident resulting in death or injury to any person other than the driver must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and:
(a) Give his or her name, current residence address, the names and current residence addresses of any injured occupants of the vehicle, the registration number of the vehicle, and the name and current residence address of the owner, to the person injured, the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and any traffic or police officer at the scene.
(b) Give reasonable assistance to persons injured in the accident, including transportation or making arrangements for transporting injured persons to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is requested by an injured person.
(c) If requested, show her driver's license, if available.
(d) In death cases, if there is no police officer at the scene to receive the information specified by Vehicle Code Section 20003, report the accident, without delay, to the nearest office of the California Highway Patrol or police station, and submit with the report the information required by Vehicle Code Section 20003.
Punishment for Hit & Run Injury or Death
Hit and Run with Injury California Vehicle Code Section 20001(a) is punishable by state prison or in county jail for not more than 1 year, a fine of $1,000 to $10,000, or both. VC 20001(a) can be a felony or a misdemeanor.
If the accident results in death or permanent, serious injury, the term of imprisonment is increased to 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison or 90 days to 1 year in county jail, but the prison sentence may be reduced or eliminated in the interests of justice.
If reduced to a misdemeanor, a minimum of 90 days to a maximum of 1 year in county jail, and/or a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 fine; the court may reduce or waive the minimum jail term in the interests of justice. In imposing a fine, the court must consider your ability to pay and may reduce the minimum fine in the interests of justice.
I Panicked and Left the Scene of an Accident
DUI and Hit and Run
If found guilty of both DUI and VC 20002 hit-and-run charges, you face DUI penalties as well as punishment for a hit-and-run, limiting your future choices in life and higher education and further affecting your permanent criminal record and driving record.
You Did Not Leave the Scene Willfully
In some DUI hit-and-run cases, clients have not felt safe staying at the scene of an accident. The other driver acts aggressively. Or, in some cases, after the accident happens, angry bystanders threaten you, which causes you to leave for your personal safety. You were unable to leave a note or exchange information. You must still notify the police as soon as possible to report the accident.
Did You Know About the Accident?
In some cases, clients have not been aware they were in an accident or had no reason to believe that it caused injuries. For example, you may have accidentally cut off another driver who was in your blind spot. The other driver may have swerved. You may never have seen this happen or have reason to believe you were involved.
Call Attorney Richard Wagner at (714) 721-4423 for a free, no-cost consultation. A top-notch DUI defense attorney gives you the best chance of avoiding the harsh consequences and penalties that come with DUI and hit & run charges.