For each Los Angeles offense that a person may be charged for, there are defenses available to that person. Strong argument, supported by evidence and testimony may result in either a reduction or dismissal of a criminal charge.
The basis of a Los Angeles Hit and Run Charge is that a person did not take proper steps after causing damage to property or injury to person. These steps will vary depending on whether the Hit and Run was damage to property, or injury to person.
If there is damage to property, the person must stop and leave contact information so that the person whose property was injured is able to contact them. If there is damage to person, the driver must stop and administer aid, call authorities and leave information as to where they can be reached. The relevant code sections spell out what is necessary in each situation and a careful review of the statutes can be very useful.
One of the key requirements necessary to be found guilty of a Hit and Run in Southern California, is knowledge. That is knowledge that damage or injury was caused. If the person had no knowledge of any such injury or damage, then it cannot be a Hit and Run. However , that is not to say they may be free and clear of the law. It just means that a Hit and Run charge is not the right charge.
If there is now knowledge, and a person has been charged with a Hit and Run, it is up to their Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer to come up with strong evidence that argues the issue of knowledge. Let’s consider an example to aid in understanding the concept.
Donny is driving home from work at night. The road is dark, there are no lights and no other cars on the road. Donny has had nothing to drink, and is tired from a full day at the office. Donny lives in a rural area, where there are very few towns, or buildings, and is more of a woodsy environment. As Donny is driving home, it is dark and he veers off the road for a split second onto the shoulder due to his tiredness. His car hits something causing a slight thud. The area is known to have lots of wildlife and it is likely that Donny has hit a raccoon or a piece of wood. Donny pulls over at a gas station a mile away. There, he inspects the car and finds some mud and brush in his tire.
What Donny does not know is that he hit a jogger. Due to the impact the jogger was flung into the nearby wood and what Donny’s tire caught was the brush on the side of the road. In this case, Donny did not have the obligation to administer aid, or call authorities. Simply because he did not know he had hit someone.
Donny’s Los Angeles Criminal Attorney would argue that Donny should not be charged with a Hit and Run because there was no knowledge that he had struck someone.