Hit and run charges often come from what was actually a misunderstanding of the situation or the law. Or maybe you hit someone and simply drove off. Either way, I am not here to judge you, but to help you get the best possible outcome if you are suspected of a California hit and run under VC 20002.
The truth is that most of the time in a hit and run case, the worst evidence comes from my client at the time that they are arrested, or in response to a phone call or meeting with the police.
That's why whenever someone calls my office with a hit and run case, I tell them that they should never talk to the police.
While I do not take every VC 20002 case, when I find a good client with a good set of facts, the amount of help that I can provide is massive. On one end of the spectrum you have a conviction for a misdemeanor with jail time. On the other hand, you have a dismissal or a deferred entry of judgement or a civil compromise.
That's why I always tell my clients that a hit and run is a case you always want to fight aggressively because:
- They can often be beat
- A conviction could mean deportation, loss of job or loss of professional license
- A conviction for hit and run has a particularly negative connotation for anyone
- There are many favorable resolutions available in hit and run cases that are not available in other types of case
California Vehicle Code 20002 VC imposes the following three duties on you in the case of an auto accident that causes damage to another person's property:
*Immediately stop your vehicle
*Provide the other partie(s) your “identifying informationm” specifically:
your name and a current address, and
*If the other partie(s) are at the scene of the accident (not in the case of hitting an empty parked car), you need to provide your driver's license and vehicle registration if requested.
*If the car you were driving does not belong to you, you must provide the name and address of the car's owner.
REMEMBER: You must perform these duties regardless of fault.
If you have a property only accident, and no one is on scene, you still have legal duties. In this case, under California Vehicle Code 20002 VC you must:
- Leave a note, conspicuously placed, including:
- Your “identifying information,” and;
- A summary of what happened, and;
- Immediately contact the local police department or the California Highway Patrol
If you are convicted under California Vehicle Code 20002 VC, you face:
- Up to three years of probation,
- Up to six months in a county jail,
- Up to one thousand dollars in fines plus court-assessed penalties,
- Restitution to any victim(s) whose property you damaged, and;
- Two points on your driving record from the California DMV.
In a hit and run case, even if the case can't be dismissed, there are often some fantastic resolutions available, such as deferred entry or judgement or a civil compromise.
If it is your first offense, without aggravating circumstances, you may be permitted to do a civil compromise under California Penal Code 1377 PC. Some courts also offer a deferred entry of judgement program that allows the dismissal of the VC 20002 case after completion of a program.
If the judge allows such an outcome, your VC 20002 hit and run charge will be dismissed either once you have fully reimbursed the person whose property you damaged, or at the completion of the court program.
Of course, sometimes the best option is to take the case to trial. Overall, trials are rare in hit and run cases, but if it is the right move for your case, we have your back at trial as well.
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