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California Hit and Run Laws

Even at low speeds, cars can cause major property damage and injuries. California law has separate statutes for accidents involving property damage and those that result in physical injury or death.

Accidents Involving Only Property Damage

California Vehicle Code § 20002 requires any driver involved in an accident resulting in property damage to stop their vehicle at the nearest location away from traffic. In addition, a driver must locate the property owner and notify them of the damage. If the owner isn’t present, a driver can leave a written notice with their contact information.

Accidents Involving Physical Injury or Death

The potential consequences of a hit-and-run case can become even more serious if the accident involved physical injury or death. California Vehicle Code § 20001 states that a driver involved in a collision resulting in another person getting hurt must remain at the accident scene.

They must also provide identifying information to the other parties involved in the crash. If officers don’t respond to the scene, the driver is also required to submit an incident report to law enforcement.

Related Offenses

You could be charged with other offenses in addition to a hit and run depending on the circumstances. Some of the most common related offenses are:

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Penalties for a Hit & Run in Folsom

The penalties you could face after a hit-and-run depend on the circumstances of the case and whether any property damage or injuries occurred.

Misdemeanor Hit & Run

Failing to stop after an accident that caused only property damage is a criminal misdemeanor. Being convicted of a misdemeanor can carry the following punishments:

  • Up to 6 months in jail or (or probation)
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Restitution for the property damage
  • 2 points on your license

Felony Hit & Run

Leaving the scene of an accident that causes injuries or death is a felony offense. Being convicted of a felony can carry punishments such as:

  • A prison sentence of 2, 3, or 4 years (with a 90-day minimum in some cases)
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Defending against Hit & Run Charges in Folsom

Being convicted of any hit-and-run charge could change your life forever, but even more so if you’re found guilty of a felony. While the potential consequences might seem overwhelming, a hit-and-run lawyer in Folsom could defend against the allegations to help you avoid a conviction.

Several defense options could be available, such as:

  • Mistaken identity — Accidents can happen in an instant which can lead to confusion. If you were wrongfully identified as the suspect in a hit-and-run accident, you shouldn’t be punished.
  • Lack of knowledge — Perhaps your accident was so minor you didn’t realize any damage was caused. Your lawyer may be able to argue you didn’t know you were involved in an accident where there was property damage or injury to the other driver.
  • Unsafe to stop — You might not have felt it was safe to stop after the accident. For example, maybe there was no place to pull over away from traffic or you had an injured passenger who needed medical attention. In this case, it may be possible for your attorney to argue to have the charges reduced.

Call A Folsom Hit and Run Attorney Today

Hit-and-run incidents are no trivial matter under state law. If you were accused of fleeing the scene of a collision, you could be face fines, loss of driving privileges, and the possibility of jail time in serious cases.

A Folsom hit-and-run lawyer at Walsh Law can help you avoid the harshest consequences. As former prosecutors, we now dedicate our careers to defending those facing criminal charges. We’ll hear your story, conduct an investigation of the incident, and tailor a defense strategy to the specifics of your case.

Call 916-237-8270 today or contact us to schedule an initial consultation.

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