If you have been charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run, it is important to remember that you have not been convicted of any crimes at this point. Before you can be convicted, you have to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury, or have entered a plea of guilty.
If you are convicted of a Hit and Run, the potential sentence is not set in stone, it varies upon different factors. These factors including the facts of the case, as well as your own criminal background.
If your case involves property damage, it falls under California Vehicle Code §20002. The potential sentence is imprisonment in the county jail, not exceeding six months, or a fine, not to exceed $1,000, or both.
If your case involves injury to another person, the possible sentencing range can be up to four years in state prison, or a fine from $1,000 to $10,000, or both, depending on whether there is injury and harm or death.
It is difficult to understand why there is a range of sentencing, and why it is not set in stone. That is because the facts of a case can vary, making it difficult to order the same sentence for all cases. There is also the consideration of past criminal history, if any. Let’s consider some examples so that we can understand how it is applied.
Danny is driving home from work, and runs into a fence in front of his neighbor’s house. He does not address it right away as he is traveling the next day and leaves on vacation. When he returns he is charged with a Hit and Run. He speaks to the neighbors and fixes the fence. Danny has no prior criminal record.
Now lets consider David. David is driving home from happy hour with friends. He hits a pedestrian on his way home. He has had a few drinks and did not see the man crossing the street. The man suffers seriously injuries. David is scared that if he is arrested, he will get a DUI, and he is on probation from a prior DUI, so he flees the scene. David is eventually found by witnesses and arrested.
It would not be appropriate to issue the same sentence on both Danny and David. There are different factors, the amount of injury, the injury to person versus damage to property, the prior criminal history. This is why there is a sentencing range, for the Judge to issue based on their discretion.
The good news is that the range leaves room for a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer to negotiate and to present a case for a lower sentence. This is the benefit of having a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer on your team. They can prepare your case so that you get the least possible conviction, and least possible sentence. If you find yourself having been arrested for a Los Angeles Hit and Run, do not wat, contact a legal professional as soon as possible.