Defenses for Leaving the Scene in a Los Angeles Hit and Run Case

A common misconception among many of our clients is that the main reason a person is arrested for a Hit and Run in Los Angeles is because they have struck another person’s property or person. If that were the case, the case is best addressed in civil court. The main issue in a Hit and Run case is that the person who may have struck another’s property, or struck another person, left the scene of the accident.

There are many reasons a person may choose to leave the scene of an accident. Some of the reasons may be enough to interest officers and prosecutors, and some may not. If the reason is one that could be a possible defense for leaving the scene, officers will note it in their reports, and prosecutors will consider that fact before filing their case.

Regardless of the reason, one thing is for sure; there must be evidentiary support for the reason, and it must be presented to officers and prosecutors in a manner that convinces them that it is a valid defense. A Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney, like those at our firm, are knowledgeable and have years of experience in presenting these types of defenses to the authorities.

Let’s consider some reasons that are valid defenses, and those that are not.

Sometimes, a person may leave the scene when they feel that their life may be threatened or that they may be in danger, making it unsafe to stop and discuss the case with the other party. What kinds of situations would warrant a valid threat? Let’s consider some examples.

Dana is driving home alone from a party, and is rerouted by her GPS through a somewhat questionable neighborhood. She panics and feels unsafe. She tries to turn around and u-tun but in so doing hits a parked car. The owner of the vehicle, who is male, and with his male friends gets angry and starts yelling profanities and threatening to hurt Dana. Dana feels that if she stops, and gets out of the car to talk to the property owner, he may actually hurt her, as she is alone and he is with some friends. In addition, the area is not one that Dana feels safe to be in alone. This would warrant a situation in which Dana’s decision to not stop was motivated by fear and threats.

In contrast there are certain situations in which failing to stop does not have a good reason. For example, people may not want to stop because they have been drinking and are afraid to get stopped for a DUI. Sometimes people are driving on a suspended license, or they have no insurance on their vehicle. Sometimes people have no money to pay for damages and think they will not get caught. These are not sufficient reasons for failing to stop.

Whatever you reason may be, one thing is abundantly clear; without a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer, you may not be able to present your case, and your defenses in the strongest way possible. Make the best decision you can for your future and call our firm today!