The Vehicle Code statutes that make it unlawful to commit a Los Angeles Hit and Run also outline a range of potential penalties that a Court may impose. The sentence is stated as a range because it would not be reasonable to expect that every offense would warrant the same type of consequence, if convicted.
The court looks at several factors when determining where in the range the final sentence will fall. The Court will consider the specific facts of the case and the person’s criminal background. These facts are presented by both the Prosecutor and your Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney through evidence and testimony.
The Court will then consider the evidence and issue a sentence. Of course, this is only if a person has been convicted. As a reminder, if you have been arrested for a Hit and Run, that does not mean you are guilty or that you have been convicted. It simply means that officers have a reasonable suspicion that you are guilty of the offense. It must still be proven in Court that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or you would have to enter a plea of guilty, to be convicted. It is only once, and if, convicted, then a sentence can be issued.
The Court will consider all types of evidence, they will look at your criminal history, they will also review letters of recommendations, evidence regarding the specific facts of your case, as well as testimony as to your character in making a determination.
There are two types of Hit and Runs in Los Angeles, one that involves injury to person and one that involves damage to property.
California Vehicle Code §20002 outlines a Hit and Run that involves damage to property.
The code section relevant to sentencing states that if there is damage to property then a convicted person “shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.” Let’s consider an example as to how a sentence will be determined under this statute. Don is driving home at night. He has had a significant amount of alcohol, and has a DUI on his criminal record. As he is driving, he cannot see in front of him and he runs into someone’s fence, causing the fence to collapse as well as the front of a person’s house. The damage is upwards of 100,000.00. Due to the fact that Don has a criminal background, and the fact that he had consumed copious amounts of alcohol and the extent of the damage, the Court is likely to issue a higher sentence . If the damage was minimal and Don was unable to see due to extraneous circumstances and did not have a criminal record, it is likely that the sentence would be lower. If you are facing a sentencing, a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney can argue in your favor by presenting strong evidence and testimony to ensure you get the lowest possible sentence.