Hit and Run Lawyer Oakland, CA
Fighting Fleeing the Scene of an Accident Charges
Leaving the scene of a traffic accident without exchanging information with the other driver or passengers is commonly referred to as a hit and run. In California, if you are convicted of this offense, you could be sentenced to jail or prison and/or fined thousands of dollars. In addition to the criminal penalties, you may also face collateral consequences that can make it hard to reintegrate into society after completing your sentence. Your entire life can be upended. However, if you were accused, you can seek to avoid or minimize penalties by aggressively fighting your charge. Because of the complexities of the judicial justice system, it is beneficial to have a skilled Oakland hit and run lawyer guide you through your case.
At Demetrius Costy Law, we are ready to provide the zealous advocacy you need at every stage of your case. When you choose our Oakland hit and run lawyer for your defense, we will conduct an in-depth investigation to uncover the facts. Recognizing that criminal charges do not necessarily mean that the accused committed the alleged offense, we will listen to your side of the story and ensure that your voice is heard. The impacts of a conviction are severe, which is why we will do what it takes to work toward the best possible result on your behalf.
Hit & Run California Law
What Constitutes a Hit and Run in California?
In California, when a person gets into a traffic collision, they are required to give their contact information to anyone else involved. This legal duty applies whether anyone was hurt or only property was damaged.
The information required to be exchanged includes:
- The names of the drivers and passengers (if any)
- The addresses of the drivers and passengers (if any)
- The registration numbers of all vehicles involved
In addition to exchanging information, anyone involved in the crash must give reasonable assistance to any injured parties. Reasonable assistance can include providing or arranging transportation to a hospital for medical care.
Under California law, a person commits a hit and run if they:
- Were involved in an accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage;
- Knew that the collision occurred;
- Failed to immediately stop at or near the scene of the accident;
- Failed to give their information to others involved;
- Did not show their driver's license when requested by other parties or a police officer; and/or
- Failed to locate the property owner or leave a note in a conspicuous place (for accidents involving property damage when the owner was not present)
Depending on the situation, several defenses can be raised to challenge allegations. If you were accused, reach out to our hit and run lawyer in Oakland to discuss your charges and legal options.
Is a Hit and Run a Felony in California?
A hit and run is a wobbler, which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The level of charge is determined by the result of the accident – whether someone was injured or killed or only property was damaged.
Generally, if someone else suffered serious injury or died in the collision, the offense may be pursued as a felony. In cases where injury or property damage occurred, the crime may be charged as a misdemeanor.
Accused of misdemeanor- or felony-level leaving the scene of an accident? The traffic lawyer at Demetrius Costy Law is here to defend you. Regardless of the severity of your charge, our Oakland hit and run attorney will vigorously defend you.
What Are the Penalties for a Hit and Run in California?
The length of imprisonment and amount of fine that can be levied in a hit and run case are linked to the level of charge. Whether the offense is charged a misdemeanor or felony depends on the facts.
A violation under California Vehicle Code § 20001 (involving injury or death) can be punished as follows:
- Up to 1 year in county jail
- Between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
If the violation resulted in serious injury or death, the penalties include:
- 90 days to 1 year in county jail; or
- 2, 3, or 4 years of imprisonment; and/or
- Between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
If the offense involved felony vehicular manslaughter, a court can impose an additional 5-year prison term.
A violation under California Vehicle Code § 20002 (involving property damage only) can be penalized as follows:
- Up to 6 months in county jail and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines
You can be confident that our Oakland hit and run lawyer will be dedicated to fiercely defending you.
Discuss Your Hit and Run Case Today
Taking quick action in your case is essential. A lot is involved in fighting charges, and giving your Oakland hit and run lawyer plenty of time to develop an innovative strategy can help as you seek an optimal result. We are prepared to get started on your defense right away.
Hit and Run Frequently Asked Questions
Hit and Run California Law FAQs
What Evidence is Needed to Convict a Hit and Run?
While hit and run cases have the reputation of being hard to prove, there are many ways a lawyer can gather evidence to make a strong case for you. One type of evidence that may be used includes nearby surveillance footage that may have inadvertently captured the accident. Other pieces of potential evidence include:
- Witness testimony
- Medical records or bills
- Work documents indicating time off
Of course, any information you can remember about the vehicle that struck you will come in handy as well, such as:
- License plate number
- Driver’s appearance
Write any information down as soon as you can.
How long after a hit and run can you be charged?
The driver who fled the scene after the accident may be charged anywhere from one to three years after the accident. It depends on the severity of the victim’s injuries.
How do I report a hit and run?
For the majority of hit and run accidents, you’ll need to report your accident to the DMV within 10 days after you were hit. Missing this deadline could result in a fine. You will need to fill out Form SR-1.
To complete Form SR-1, you’ll need:
- Your driver’s license or ID card
- Your insurance information
- Either your vehicle identification number (VIN) or your license plate number
You should ideally complete this step before contacting an attorney.