Hit and Run Defense Attorneys in San Diego representing clients on both Misdemeanor and Felony cases
A hit and run is a type of driving crime where someone in a car hits either another car or the personal property of another. After the collision occurs, they leave the scene of the accident without leaving any contact information. The prosecutor argues that in all hit and run cases that the person is trying to avoid getting in trouble and avoid being responsible for the crime and that is why they did not leave any underlying contact information. When deciding who to hire on a case make sure you find an experienced hit and run defense attorney in San Diego.
How can you prove hit and run?
To prove the case the prosecutor must show the elements of the crime and can show them in a multitude of ways.
• The driver must have gotten into some sort of an accident.
• They must have known they were involved in an accident
• And they failed to perform one of the following duties:
• Failed to immediately stop
• Failed to give their identifying information
• Failed to render reasonable assistance to the injured
• Failed to report the hit and run
If the prosecutor can prove these elements of a hit and run then the person who committed the crime would be found guilty.
Difference between a felony and misdemeanor hit and run
The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor hit and run is whether or not an injury occurred. A hit and run is considered a felony if there was an injury to another party in another car. Leaving the scene when there is an injury is a lot more serious in the eyes of the prosecutor. A serious injury like a broken bone or a very serious cut could add what is called a great bodily injury allegation to the hit and run case. The great bodily injury allegation makes this offense a strike offense and adds on the possibility of several years in prison.
Misdemeanor Hit and Run Penalties
The penalties for a misdemeanor hit and run are:
• A conviction under California Penal Code VC 20002
• A potential 2 point offense on your driving record
• Up to a $1000 state mandated fine
• Up to 3 years probation
• Up to 6 months in jail
In these types of cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney can often work to have your case reduced to a lesser included offense. In certain situations this could result in no probation or no criminal record.
Felony Hit and Run penalties
The penalties for a felony hit and run are as follows:
• 2 points on your driving record
• Over $1000 in fines
• Up to 5 years probation
• Up to 4 years in prison
If granted probation on a felony case, the judge could sentence someone from 0 to 365 days in jail. They could also have an alternative to custody, which could include work furlough or some sort of ankle bracelet. If the judge sends someone to prison on a felony hit and run, they have to send them to prison for either 2, 3, or 4 years. Those are the terms that have been mandated by statute.
Liability for a Hit and Run
Besides the criminal aspect of a case like this there is also a civil aspect as well. When you are charged or accused of a hit and run case, the other party will try and come after you for civil liability. This means that they will attempt to recover for any damages they believe that you caused. If you are convicted of a hit and run in the courts then you will have to pay what is called restitution. This is the criminal court ordering that the damages be paid to the other party.
Hit and Run Defenses
Defenses include misidentification of the driver and lack of proof of the elements. First, if someone is involved in a hit and run, then it is clear from the description that they did not stick around for someone to identify them. Sometimes these people are caught because someone saw their license plate number or someone saw them leaving the scene of the crime. Eyewitness testimony has been known to be very unreliable.
The other thing that comes up is just the lack of proof of elements in the case. Sometimes someone left the scene because they were too scared to stop after what had happened. That is seen as a valid defense under the law. Other times, people drove away to a safe place and then called police. Hit and run cases can be defended if you have an expert on your side.
Lastly cases can often be resolved before they are even filed in court. With these types of cases it is very common for an officer to reach out to the suspect and try to get them to admit to the crime. We have dealt with tons of cases where we are able to talk to the officer without admitting any liability and show that our client’s insurance can or will pay the bills of the other driver. This has resulted in no case ever being filed and the client has moved on without any criminal record.
Ozols Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr. #22
San Diego, CA
619 288 8357
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