A California hit & run conviction can have serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment in the county jail (misdemeanor) or state prison (felony).
Accidents Without Injury:
Any driver involved in an auto accident with another driver who is present must exchange: (1) the name and address of the driver and owner; (2) their driver’s license number; (3) the Vehicle identification number; and (4) evidence of insurance including the name of the insurance company and policy number. (Veh. Code § 16025.)
The same disclosure is also required in accidents involving other property such as bicycles, fences, buildings, etc.
California Vehicle Code Section 20002 requires all drivers involved in any kind of accident to “immediately” stop at the nearest safe location that will not impede traffic or create safety risks for others.
If the owner of the other vehicle or property is not present at the time of the accident, the driver is required to leave the same information in a conspicuous place on the other vehicle or damaged property, as well as a statement of the circumstances of the accident. The driver is also required to notify local law enforcement. If the accident occurred in an unincorporated territory, the driver can notify the local CHP headquarters. (Veh. Code § 20002.)
Failure to stop and provide this information is a misdemeanor, punishably by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Accidents Involving Injury:
California Vehicle Code Sections 20001 and 20003 require drivers, in accidents resulting in injury or death, to provide the same information, and also require the driver to render aid and assistance. The driver must also report the accident to the police. (Veh. Code § 20004.)
In injury cases, failure to stop and render aid or provide the required information is punishable as either a misdemeanor (a minimum of a $1,000.00 fine and up to 1 year in county jail) or a felony.
Felony California Hit & Run is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, two or three years in the state prison and a fine of up to $10,0000.
If the driver’s failure to comply results in permanent or serious injury, a felony sentence may be increased to two, three, or four years.
If you or a loved one has been charged with hit & run in Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County or Los Angeles, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. We are available to consult with you at no charge. Just call to make an appointment.