Many of our clients mistakenly believe that fault plays a role in a Los Angeles Hit and Run Offense. This is inaccurate. When it comes to the criminal offense of Hit and Run, fault is not a mitigating factor, nor does it relieve you of the offense. This is an issue for the civil case, if any.
The reason a Hit and Run is unlawful, is because of a person’s decision to leave the scene, rather than stay and provide aid. That is the reason it is unlawful and what gives rise to the criminal offense, not the issue of fault. Let’s consider an example to better illustrate this concept.
Danny is driving home from work one evening. It is a rainy and icy night, with very little visibility. Charlie is driving behind Danny along the highway. Charlie is not paying attention and he cannot see very well. He fails to stop when Danny brakes and slams into Danny’s car. This causes Danny to slam into Victor, who is driving ahead of him. Charlie takes off driving away. Victor’s car seems to have been badly damaged.
In this situation, the accident is not Danny’s fault. However, Danny is still required to stop and render aid to Victor. If Danny leaves the scene, then Danny can still be liable for a Hit and Run, even though he would likely not be liable for the accident itself.
The reason Danny would be charged with a Hit and Run is because he chose to leave the scene, rather than render aid to Victor, whose car he hit. The requirement for Hit and Run is not to stop if it is your fault, but to stop regardless, to render aid.
It is understandable to assume that because the accident is not your fault, you are not required to stop. However, as demonstrated here, that is not the case. If you find yourself facing a Los Angeles Hit and Run Charge, the best thing you could do for yourself is to hire a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer as soon as possible.
If the damage was not your fault, there might be room for your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutors, and reduce your charges. It may even be possible to dismiss it altogether, or avoid having it be filed in the first place.
Lawyers like those at Hoffman & Associates have been handling Hit and Run cases in Los Angeles for over thirty years and have direct experience with the courts in the Los Angeles area.
If you want to give yourself the best fighting chance, you should call our office for a consultation today. There is no charge to speak to one of our professionals. They can go over the facts of your case and answer any questions that you may have. Remember, having an attorney in your corner might mean the difference between having a charge on your criminal record, or none at all.