If you are involved in a car accident, you might panic and leave the scene. You may have been in shock when you got into the accident and thought your best option was to get away from the area. After the shock wore off, you probably realized you made a mistake.
You should never leave the scene of an accident, but if you do, you should return immediately. Our attorneys wish to share with you why you should never flee the scene of an accident.
What is Hit and Run?
Hit and run is defined as leaving the scene of a car accident in which property damage, injury or loss of life occurred.
California Vehicle Code 200011 governs hit and run where serious injury or death results. You are legally required to stop your car immediately and assist any injured parties if you are involved in an accident.
California Vehicle Code 200022 governs accidents where property damage occurs but there is no physical injury. Under this law, you must stop your vehicle at the nearest safe location without impeding traffic if you are involved in an accident.
Consequences of Hit and Run
CVC 20001 is a wobbler offense, meaning you could be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the seriousness of the injury and other factors of your case. If you are convicted of misdemeanor hit and run causing injury or death, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined up to $10,000.
If you are convicted of a felony violation of CVC 20001, you could be facing up to three years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
If you are accused of hit and run under CVC 20002, you will be facing a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, you could be facing up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
What Happens if I Left the Scene of an Accident and Returned?
Nobody can predict how they’ll respond if they’re hurt or scared. Even a reasonable person can make the mistake of leaving the scene of an accident. If you are involved in a collision and leave the scene, it is not too late to avoid the harsh consequences of a hit and run conviction by returning. The fact that you returned to the scene could be a mitigating factor that the court will take into consideration during your case. This could lead to a lesser sentence if you are convicted.
Additionally, returning to the scene of the accident could help create a defense that you were looking for a safe place to pull over. Your attorney can argue that you left the scene of the accident only to find a safe place to stop, but returned when you failed to find somewhere closer to park.
Call Wallin and Klarich Today if You or a Loved One is Facing Hit and Run Charges
If you are accused of leaving the scene of an accident, your next step should be to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing hit and run charges for over 30 years. We know how to prepare a winning defense strategy that will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.