For all criminal charges, there are certain defenses available to the person being charged. This is also the case for a Los Angeles Hit and Run. In order for a person to be convicted of a Hit and Run, the prosecutors must prove that the person beyond a reasonable doubt was involved with damaging another person’s property, or injuring another person and that the person fled the scene without providing any contact information.
Another important note about Hit and Run is that it does not require intent. Even if a person has every intention of exchanging information later, it will not matter unless the information is exchanged at the scene. Of course, like any criminal charge, there are ways to negotiation and present facts to a Prosecutor that will allow them to reduce or dismiss charges.
One of the potential defenses available to those charged with a Hit and Run, is the emergency defense. If a person finds themselves in an emergency, presenting the emergency with sufficient evidence to support it, may result in a dismissal of the hit and run charge.
Lets consider an example. Don is driving home from work. The weather is foggy and it is hard to see anything. Don lives in a rural area and is driving down a highway that is not well lit. He does not see a car stalled on the side of the road and he rear ends it. The car has a driver and a passenger. The driver is away from the vehicle trying toscall for help. The passenger is still in the car and when Don rear ends the car, the passenger hits his head on the windshield. Don immediately pulls over and rushes out of the car to see if the passenger is ok. Seeing that the passenger is bleeding, Don immediately picks up the passenger and places them in his car. He yells to the driver that he is going to go get help and drives the passenger to the hospital.
On the surface, Don is guilty of each of the elements of a hit and run. He caused damage to the other driver’s vehicle, and he caused injury to the passenger. Don also did not leave any contact information, and immediately fled the scene. However, Don has a valid defense. There was an emergency situation and the reason Don fled the scene so quickly was to take the passenger to the hospital. In this situation, Don will likely not be charged with a Hit and Run.
If you are facing Hit and Run charges, be sure to consult with a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer. There are a variety of defenses available to you, and with a proper argument and a sufficiently presented case, you may have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.