What is a Valid Defense to a Los Angeles Hit and Run Involving Bodily Injury?

A person who has injured another with his or her vehicle may be charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run under California Vehicle Code §20003.

California Vehicle Code §20003 states that any such person finding themselves in a situation where they have caused injury to another with their vehicle, must follow certain immediate procedures. They read as follows:

“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall also give his or her name, current residence address, the names and current residence addresses of any occupant of the driver’s vehicle injured in the accident, the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and the name and current residence address of the owner to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and shall give the information to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is requested by any injured person.”

Depending on the extend of the injury, a person who has been arrested on suspicion of a Hit and Run may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. These are significant and serious charges. That is why it is extremely important that you atleast consult with a Los Angeles Hit and Run Attorney. An experience legal professional will know of the possible defenses that are available to you, and a in depth assessment of the facts of your case will allow them to determine if there is a strong defense available.

Let’s consider a hypothetical to demonstrate a possible defense.

Dana is driving home from a party. She did not drink at the party, and was in fact the designated driver. She is on her way home and has dropped off all of her friends along the way, so she is now in the car alone. Her cell phone has died and she has no phone to use. Dana lives in the outskirts of a rural town and is therefore driving along a highway. Due to the darkness and lack of light, she does not see a drunk man walking alongside the highway and hits him. She jumps out of her car and immediately attends to the man, who seems to only have a broken leg. Dana has no way of calling for help because her phone is dead and the man states that he does not have a cell phone either.

Dana leaves the man at the scene and rushes to the nearest phone so that she may call authorities. Officers arrest her for a Hit and Run.

Dana’s attorney will be able to show that Dana had every intention of administering help and reporting the incident. She was unable to do so at the scene because she did not have a phone, but she got to a phone as soon as possible and got help. This should help reduce Dana’s charge, or dismiss the case altogether.