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Articles Posted in Hit and Run

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hit and run Los AngelesLos Angeles is launching a system targeted to stop a growing epidemic of hit and run incidents and arrest those who commit hit and run. The new system will publish information on social media to alert the public to vehicles involved in hit and run incidents. The make, model, color and license plate number of a vehicle suspected to be involved in a hit and run will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Nixle, a website where government agencies share information to other agencies and subscribers.

Los Angeles City Hall is also offering “standing rewards” for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit and run drivers. The rewards are graded as follows depending on the circumstances of the case:

  • $1,000 for property damage
  • $5,000 if somebody was hurt
  • $25,000 for serious injury, and
  • $50,000 for a hit & run fatality1

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hit and run bikesA recent report shows that hit-and-runs involving vehicle-bicyclist collisions are on the rise in Los Angeles County. Between 2002 and 2012, more than 5,600 cyclists were injured and at least 36 cyclists died from hit-and-run related incidents, which is an increase of 42%. Of those incidents, 40% of cases involved minors under the age of 18 years old.1

An alarmingly high number of vehicles involved in hit-and-run incidents are never found and about 80% of hit-and-run cases go unresolved.2 Many times, law enforcement does not have strong leads and must rely heavily on eyewitness reports or the car’s license plate number. Due to the lack of closure for such cases, the organization Ghost Bike has begun paying tribute to bicyclists whose deaths resulted from hit-and-run collisions. Small memorials of bicycles fully painted white on city streets serve as a way for others to mourn and as a quiet statement in support of the right to safe travel for cyclists.3 Although the states make it appear as if you may never be arrested for hit-and-run, vehicle-bicyclist hit-and-run is a serious crime.

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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.

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You may find yourself trapped in a very difficult dilemma where you commit a crime but are not yet investigated by the police. Between the time you committed the offense and the moment the police start knocking at your door, you are left to ponder your situation. The question that is probably foremost on your mind is: Should I come forward and turn myself in or should I wait and see if I am ever found out?

Hit%20and%20run%20defense%20lawyer%20888-280-6839.jpgThis question is most overbearing in circumstances where there is a victim who may have suffered death or serious bodily injury. A relevant example would be in a Hit and Run situation where the hapless driver knows he or she hit a pedestrian but left the scene in a panic without knowing whether that person survived or not.

As you try to determine what to do, you are surrounded by uncertainty. Were there any witnesses? Is their anything connecting me to the incident? Have the police already found out who I am? Are they on their way now? Will they be easier on me if I turn myself in?

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In California, a hit and run occurs when a driver of a motor vehicle knowingly leaves the scene of an accident without identifying themselves to the other party or parties involved. The severity of the penalty depends on whether the accident resulted in damage to property or death or injury to any persons involved.

Penalties for Hit and Run in California

Hit and run attorneyIf the accident only resulted in damage to property such as the vehicles involved in the accident or any surrounding structures, the hit and run can be charged as a misdemeanor offense under Vehicle Code Section 20002. However, if the accident resulted in death or injury to persons involved, the hit and run will likely be charged as a serious felony under Vehicle Code 20001.

A conviction for a felony hit and run involving death or serious, permanent injury may result in a two, three, or four-year sentence in state prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000. If convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run offense in which only property damage results, the penalties include a sentence of up to one year in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. Under applicable circumstances, the penalties may also include restitution to the victims, which entails paying for the injuries or damages.

What you do as a driver of a motor vehicle following an accident is very important for avoiding a hit and run charge. California law requires you to stop your vehicle immediately, provide your name and current residential address, and produce your driver’s license or any other form of identification upon request.

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Hit & runAn Indiana woman wanted in connection with a hit-and-run accident that killed a Greenfield police officer turned herself in on Monday, claiming that she had been distracted by her three children who were in the car at the time.

61-year-old Sue Ann Vanderbeck of Indianapolis told police that on September 28, the accident occurred when she was driving home after midnight from her late mother’s home in Cambridge City with her three children: a 4-year-old boy with autism and two 15-month-old twins. Vanderbeck said she was traveling westbound on U.S. 40, singing to and looking back at her 4-year-old son who was reportedly difficult to keep calm, when she swerved to avoid an unknown object in the roadway.

The right fender of Vanderbeck’s van struck what she determined to be a bicycle. When she looked back, Vanderbeck said she saw two other men on bicycles assist the man she had hit. Vanderbeck told police that she decided not to stop because she had her children were with her.

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It was recently reported that a hit and run car crash killed three people on the 91 freeway. The deaths occurred after a Mazda collided with a Chevrolet and erupted in flames. A tractor trailer may have also been involved. The driver of the Mazda lost control and swerved across several lanes, cutting in front of a tractor trailer. The driver of the tractor slammed on the brakes. The Mazda was then struck by a Chevrolet. The tractor pulled over to the right shoulder for a few minutes, but then drove away. California Highway Patrol reviewed the video of the incident and stated that it doesn’t appear that any of the parties involved were at fault. The CHP believes that the driver of the tractor may have more information on the accident. If the tractor was involved in the accident, the driver may be charged with hit and run.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 20001, the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision must immediately stop at the scene of the accident and give his or her information to the police officer at the scene of the accident, or to the occupants of the other vehicle if requested, and/or report the accident to local authorities. If someone was injured in the accident, the driver must also provide reasonable assistance

Hit and run consequences can be severe. Hit and run can be a felony. Felony hit and run punishment if a death was involved can be imprisonment in state prison for up to four years, or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the imprisonment and fine.

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It was recently reported that a Riverside woman has been charged in a hit-and-run death of a bicyclist. Patricia Ann Izquieta, age 37, allegedly struck a bicyclist in her SUV. Izquieta allegedly fled the scene dragging the bicycle under her car for over a mile. Izquieta was allegedly under the influence of prescription drugs. Izquieta is charged with one felony count of hit and run causing a death, one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license.

Hit-and-run causing a death is a serious crime in California. Under California Vehicle Code section 20001, the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident must immediately stop at the scene and provide his or her information to the police officer on the scene of the accident, or to the occupants of the other vehicle if requested. More importantly, a felony conviction for hit-and-run causing death is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for up to four years and a fine of up to $10,000. A person who flees the scene of the crime after committing vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of a drug or alcohol is punishable by an additional five years in state prison.

If you or a loved one is facing charges for a hit and run or any other serious crime in Riverside, contact our Riverside criminal defense attorneys at Wallin and Klarich. Wallin & Klarich will help protect your rights and find the best defense strategy for your case. For over 30 years, our attorneys have been helping clients get probation or community service in lieu of jail time. Please call us at (888) 280-6839 or visit our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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It was recently reported that a 62-year old woman died as a result of her injuries in a hit and run accident in Los Angeles. The woman, whose name has not yet been released, was hit while she was crossing a street near Normandie Avenue and West Adams Boulevard. The man believed to have hit the woman was driving a black Toyota Camry. Police are trying to locate the driver, who will be facing hit and run charges.

In the state of California, the driver in the above situation will be facing felony hit and run and possibly homicide charges. Potential penalties can include prison time, hefty fines, and loss of driving privileges for the rest of his life.

If you or a loved one has been accused of a hit and run, contact our experienced San Diego hit and run attorneys at Wallin and Klarich. Our attorneys have been helping those accused of serious hit and run crimes for more than 30 years. Call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839 or visit our website at ww.wklaw.com for more information. We can help you.

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Most recently the appellate court’s came down the with ruling above. In People v. Harbert, 170 Cal. App. 4th 42, the defendant was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident where there was an injury under Vehicle Code Section 20001. The defendant argued that the code section requires proof that the defendant had actual knowledge of having been involved in a hit and run accident that resulted in an injury to a person. The appellate court, however, opined that constructive knowledge is sufficient to show the accident or collision involved a person.

Defendant Harbert in this case believed he hit a deer instead of a person, however, his actions after the accident was relevant to show knowledge of having been in an accident with a human being and not a deer. The court stated that actual knowledge is not required but constructive knowledge is enough to show that the defendant had known that he was involved in an accident with another person. Victim was walking home from work attempting to cross a busy street when she was hit by defendant’s car. The Victim died an hour later at the hospital. The defendant did not stop and had his vehicle repaired subsequently, the police obtained a warrant and searched his home and found the vehicle covered in the garage with considerable damages. The victim’s earring was lodged in the windshield well of defendant’s car. Police seized defendant’s computer and determined he had searched the local police department’s website about this recent incident. Defendant also searched topics such as “auto accidents and the law” and topics such as “auto glass” and “auto parts”. Defendant further made a search for “hit and run” within a few days of the incident and the topic of “auto glass reporting requirements to law enforcement”.

The circumstantial evidence against the defendant was overwhelming. Defendant admitted to driving his vehicle that night and hitting an object. There was no evidence that defendant’s vehicle collided with another vehicle and the victim was near the proximity of a crosswalk where the incident occurred. Furthermore, Defendant admitted that he did not actually see a deer and there was no evidence that the defendant had personal knowledge that deer were in that area near the site of incident. There was also evidence that deer did not frequent that particular area. The impact caused considerable damage to defendant’s vehicle, tore off the hood ornament, and destroyed his windshield. Defendant also testified that he had entertained the thought that he had hit a human being. Additionally, once defendant arrived home, he searched the internet for things related to a hit and run showing his suspicions lingered and would not go away. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to state prison.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.