As stated in Part One of this blog, when you have been arrested, it does not mean that you have been convicted. It is not until you enter a plea of guilty, or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, that you are convicted. Only after you are convicted you can be sentenced.
In issuing a sentence the Court will consider the specific facts of the case and the person’s criminal history. In making a determination, both the prosecutor and the Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony to make an argument in their favor.
California Vehicle Code §20003 outlines a Hit and Run in which there is injury to person. The statute outlines as follows in regards to sentencing:
In a Hit and Run in which there is injury, a person shall be punished “by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”
If the accident leads to permanent or serious injury, then a person can face imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”
To better understand each sentence, let’s consider an example.
Dina is driving home from work and it is a foggy and cloudy night. She cannot see in front of her as she drives down an unlit highway. She does not see the pedestrian in front of her. Fortunately, she manages to hit the brakes just as she sees the pedestrian and the pedestrian is toppled over, with just a few scratches and bruises.
In contrast, consider Don, who is driving home from work. Don is also driving home on a foggy and cloudy night and is driving home on an unlit highway. He has had a DUI on his record, and has been charged with assault in the past. Don is very careful not to drink anymore, as he has found it leads to problems for him. On this particular night, he cannot see but is not intoxicated. He hits a pedestrian who is out for a jog causing the pedestrian to fly up in the air. The pedestrian suffers from a broken spine, and may lead to paralysis.
Dina is facing a potentially lesser sentence than Don due to the fact that she does not have a criminal record and based on the extent of the injuries suffered by the victim. In contrast, Don may face a higher sentence than Dina, especially if the victim in his case suffers from permanent injury.
If you face a sentencing, be sure to immediately speak to and retain a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney so that you give yourself the best possible chance of getting the lowest sentence.