Articles Posted in Hit and Run

When you are charged with a Hit and Run in Los Angeles, it can be a misdemeanor or felony. If there is serious injury, it will likely be charged as a felony. However, the good news is that with the proper negotiations and evidence, the charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor.

The proper strategy can make all the difference. The best thing you can do for your case is to speak to a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer who will prepare a strong defense and argument for you. The attorneys at Hoffman and Associates have years of experience and have handled hundreds of hit and run cases. They know exactly what to do to ensure you get the best possible results. To fully understand how strategy can make all the difference, lets consider an example.

Danny and his wife are driving at 4:00 AM. It is dark and Danny did not see the pedestrian at the cross walk. There were no lights. Danny struck the pedestrian knocking him down. Danny’s wife got out of the car and asked the pedestrian if they were ok. The pedestrian responded that they were in a lot of pain.  Danny and wife were so terrified, they quickly left the scene.

Hit and Run cases are common in Los Angeles. There are certain challenges and obstacles to overcome when it comes to a Los Angeles Hit and Run charge, but with the right Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer on your team, and proactive measures, you can take steps to drastically reduce your changes of getting charges filed against you and/or getting convicted.

When the property damage is to the city or the county government, however, it brings with it a whole new set of challenges and obstacles. Both types of cases, however, can be addressed and given a good chance at resolution prior to conviction. The defense and argument will be tailored to the type of case, and the specific set of facts. In order to better understand the process, let’s consider some examples.

David is driving home from work on a rainy night. He does not see the parked car in front of his driveway and hits the front bumper as he turns into his garage. Seeing that it was late, and he was tired, and the car was right in front of his house, he goes home and goes to sleep, hoping to address it in the morning. However, in the morning the car is gone, so David is not able to provide his contact information. Before  David receives a letter from authorities stating that they would like to interview him regarding a potential hit and run, David contacts a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer. The attorney asks around in the neighborhood, is able to locate whose vehicle it was, and have David’s insurance company make full amends and pay restitution, causing the aggrieved party to never have to contact authorities. The issue is resolved quickly since the attorney is able to directly deal with a person whose vehicle it was, and to address the insurance company and get damages repaired as soon as possible.

Our clients are often surprised when they are charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run, when they never directly hit anything. They inquire as to how they could possibly be charged with a Hit and Run, when there was no contact with any other vehicle, or other object. Unfortunately, it is possible to be charged with a Hit and Run in a situation where you have had no contact. The good news, however, is that there is an available defense.

In order to fully understand the arguments and the defense that an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer can prepare for you, it is important to first understand the factual scenario that can give rise to a no contact hit and run.

Lets assume that David is driving home from work. He is in a rush to get home, and abruptly changes lanes on the freeway. The abrupt change cuts off a motorcyclist who swerves to avoid rear ending David. In his swerve, he loses control of his bike and crashes into the middle divider. He suffers from leg injuries. David does not even notice that the motorcyclist swerved and crashed. David continues on his way home. Several witnesses who see the event, are able to get David’s license plate and inform authorities.

We live in a day and age where people expect and have grown accustomed to instant gratification. They want solutions provided quickly, and problems solved instantly. That is not the case with legal issues. Legal issues take some time, and when handled properly and professionally by a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer, they are resolved successfully. Although the process may take some time, the end result is hopefully one of long-term resolution. The impact of a legal case can have long term consequences on your social life, your work life, and your education. Handling the problem properly the first time around, despite the time it takes, can prove to be worthwhile.

This is the case with Los Angeles Hit and Run charges. Although clients want instant resolution, they do not realize the full extent of how many parties are involved in a hit and run, and how long it takes for negotiations, discussions, investigations and procedure to get the issue resolved. Let’s consider an example, to illustrate how many players we may have.

David is driving home from a friend’s birthday party. It is late, and it has started to rain. He has a hard time seeing, and rear ends a vehicle that is pulled over to the side of the road awaiting help. The driver of the vehicle, Victor,  is in the vehicle and suffers minor injuries. David does not see the person in the car and believes it is a parked car. Afraid that he may get in trouble, David takes off and drives home. He later is contacted by officers in connection with the potential hit and run.

Many of our clients are involved in hit and runs with no fault of their own. They are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and are then left to deal with a criminal offense. Unfortunately, fault is not an issue in a San Diego hit and run case, but there are many defenses available that may help reduce your case or dismiss it altogether.

Let’s consider an example to understand how fault plays a role in a Hit and Run, or lack thereof. It is not as simple as it may seem. When there is an alleged hit and run, both parties are required to stop and exchange information. It is not just the party that may or may not be at fault. Therefore, if you are the person who was hit by another driver, you are also obligated to stay and provide information. This is especially an issue in multi car accidents, where you are caught in between two cars.

Donny was driving to work one day and had an important meeting that he needed to be at. As he was driving down the highway, he was rear ended by another car who was being careless and not paying attention to the road. The bump from the car resulted in Donny being propelled forward and hitting the car in front of him. Donny made a note of the license plate number of the car in front of him, and headed to work. It was Donny’s intention to contact the police department later on that day, as he did not have time to wait for the police to arrive and for him to explain that he was not at fault.

Many of our clients believe that they should take their time in finding the right attorney, doing their research and finding an attorney who offers reasonable prices and can promise their case to be dismissed. This is inaccurate. While it is important that someone who has been arrested for a Los Angeles Hit and Run should find the right attorney, time is of the essence. Every day that goes by after an arrest can have a huge impact on your case. Furthermore, when searching for an attorney, the attorney’s reputation, knowledge and expertise will speak for itself.

The more time that passes by, the more angered an alleged victim could become. Acting quickly, proactively, not only with the victim, but also with the police department could make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. To better understand how time works, lets consider two examples. One where the person being charged hires a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney, and one where the person does not.

One night David was driving home late at night. It was raining hard and windy. He did not see a fence and hit it as he made a turn. Being late at night, cold and raining, he did not stop to leave his information. He immediately called an attorney who advised him to return to the home and ask to make amends. David was charged with a Hit and Run a few days later. David immediately contacted Hoffman & Associates having seen the 5 star review. David’s attorneys immediately contact the owner of the damaged fence. They explain that David had tried to come back the next morning, and that he was extremely sorry and wanted to pay for the fence to be fixed. Seeing the effort made by David the owners of the fence explain the cost, which is immediately fixed by David. The attorney then contacts the police department, and provides all evidence necessary to show the department that all damages have been fixed. The attorney also speaks to the owners of the fence and get them to prepare and sign a Civil Compromise, which shows that they are satisfied with the repairs made by David. Seeing that all amends have been made, the police department advises the Prosecutors of David’s efforts, and as a result, the prosecutor decides not to press charges.

Many of our clients come to us and want an analysis of their case. Each case is different and each set of facts is different. This makes it difficult to predict how a case will be addressed and what the outcome may be. However, there are some significant factors that are addressed in each case to determine how the case will be approached.

Criminal history:

If a person has an extensive criminal history, it will have a bigger impact on the outcome of their case than someone who does not have any prior convictions. The Courts will take this into consideration when issuing a sentence, especially if the prior is a Hit and Run. In addition, if the prior case is recent, then the person being charged could also be on probation. Then the new charge could result in a probation violation. A probation violation is a separate case, and will have to be addressed in addition to the new Hit and Run case.

We get a lot of clients who call that have not yet been contacted by officers for a statement, or for an investigation for a San Diego Hit and Run. These clients always inform us that they are just looking for information, but since officers have not yet contacted them, there is no need to retain an attorney. This is a myth. The work on a Hit and Run case can begin before a case is ever filed. This allows a person to be prepared to speak to officers and to give a statement that could help reduce the charges or even lead to the case not being filed at all.

Let’s consider an example and walk through the steps an experienced San Diego hit and run lawyer would take to help resolve the case.

Dina calls Hoffman and Associates and speaks to one of our experienced lawyers. She was driving home from a holiday party and accidentally hit a parked car in a neighborhood on her way home. She left a note on the windshield, with her contact information, but due to the high winds, the note did not stay. She did not hear from the owner so she believes they did not get her note.

A Los Angeles Hit and Run can be a complicated case because of all the different parties that can be involved, and the different factors at play. These factors and considerations will help determine the outcome of a potential Hit and Run case and will help guide a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney as to which steps need to be taken immediately to help mitigate the consequences of your case.

A Hit and Run lawyer with over thirty years of experience can do a lot towards the consequences of your case. A lawyer knows the court system, if familiar with the evidence and police departments and knows exactly which steps to take to get you the best possible outcome.

There are many factors to consider. The following are just a few.

When you have been charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run, you will be contacted by officers. It will either be in person, through the mail, or a phone call. But before officers contact you regarding a Hit and Run, they will have to gather the evidence that may potentially make you a suspect.

The evidence they gather is sent to the Prosecutor’s office. It is the prosecutor that determines whether there is enough evidence to support a case against you. In order for a case to be brought, the prosecutor must determine that there is reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. In making that determination, prosecutors heavily rely on the evidence presented by officers.

Officers will work to gather their evidence in several different ways. As soon as there is an accident, officers will appear at the scene to investigate. If all parties involved in the accident are present, it will not be an investigation for a Hit and Run. But if one person has fled the scene, then the officers will be gathering evidence for a Hit and Run.