When charged with a California Hit and Run you should be aware that it can result in either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the extent and nature of the damage. If the damage is to property, the case will be charged under California Vehicle Code 20002 as a misdemeanor. If the damage is to a person, the case will be charged under California Vehicle Code 20003 as a felony.
Potential penalties that may be given according to the California Vehicle Code include up to $1,000 in fines, and 0 to 6 months in jail. Sentencing may also include probation and alternative forms of sentencing such as community service.
In a misdemeanor case, the final sentence will be determined by the extent of property damage. The damage will fall within a range and the penalty will be given correspondingly. In a Hit and Run case in which the driver struck a person’s fence and caused little damage will see a penalty in the form of a low fine. In contrast, in a case where someone causes extensive damage to another person’s vehicle will be looking at a higher fine and possibly even some jail time.
In a felony Hit and Run case, the penalty will correspond to the extent of the injury caused to the other person. Injuries happen across a wide spectrum. On the lower end there are minor injuries, including minor scratches, sprains, and bruises. These injuries require little medical caresand are quick to heal causing no permanent damage, or long term effects on the injured person’s life.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are more serious and often fatal injuries. In contrast, these injuries require significant health care and costs, involve deep tissue or internal organ damage, and result in permanent or long term damage that has serious or fatal consequences on the injured person’s life. Felony cases will be charged with sentences closer to the $1,000 fine range, and six months jail time or in some case, both.
Despite whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony hit and run, one thing is certain: you want the least possible penalty that can be issued. A Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can create the best possible defense so that the prosecution sees you in the most favorable light. This involves gathering positive letters from friends and family, negotiating with the prosecution and using mitigating circumstances to reduce the ramifications in your case. An attorney with thirty years of experience knows exactly what will strengthen and weaken your case and is able to effectively reduce or limit it’s potential consequences through plea bargaining and negotiations that comes only with knowing the prosecution and judges through years of practice and success. Additionally, an attorney who knows the area of law may be able to persuade the judge to allow alternative sentencing in lieu of jail time, should it be required. The main goal of a successful attorney is to reduce your charges as much as possible and consequently, your sentence.s