If you have been charged with a Hit and Run in Los Angeles, you will be given a citation and a notice to appear in Court. This citation will state the time and which court house. This is not an optional appearance. You must appear on or before that date stated. This is called your arraignment.
At the arraignment, you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. This will be entered after you have spoken to a Prosecutor about the potential sentence they are willing to give if you plead guilty that day.
How do you know this is a good offer? How do you know if the Court has followed proper procedural requirements and they are not violating your Constitutional rights? You know by hiring a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer.
Before you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty it is important to weight the options to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you have a strong case, and prosecution’s case is weak, it is worth your time to plead not guilty and take the case to trial. If your case is weak, and the offer from prosecution is a good offer, it is worth considering.
An offer generally will not be held past the arraignment. Once you plead not guilty, the case will be set for pre trial. A new offer will be made at pretrial. An attorney who is knowledgeable and is familiar with the courtrooms and the prosecutors will be able to give you a better idea as to what the new deal will be like. Sometimes it is worth your time to plead not guilty and accept a better offer during a pre trial. But that second offer will be different and based upon the Judge, and the Prosecutors.
There are also defenses available for a Hit and Run, and factors to mitigate charges, such as a civil compromise. If there is no injury or damage, then Prosecution will have a difficult time proving their case. Similarly, if you attempted to contact the aggrieved party, then they may not meet the elements of a Hit and Run.
It is very beneficial to have contacted the aggrieved party prior to the Arraignment and discussed reimbursements or restitution. If the party agrees and is cooperative, a civil compromise might be reached and used in Court to help mitigate or dismiss charges.
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney has handled hundreds of Hit and Run cases in Los Angeles and is readily familiar with the Courts and the prosecutors. They have also handled many civil compromises and are able to skillfully negotiate an agreement that is not only in your best interest, but use the agreement to present a case at the arraignment that will lead to a reduction in charges, or a dismissal altogether. Do not hesitate and waste your time trying to determine what will happen at your Arraignment. Hire an experienced attorney and let them guide you effortlessly through the process.