Hit-and-run charges in California can be extremely serious and carry potentially life-changing punishments. As a result, it is important to understand your legal options if you're faced with these types of charges. In this blog post, we'll explore the most commonly used defenses for hit-and-run cases. In addition, we'll explain why these defenses may or may not hold up against certain facts surrounding a particular case.
Definition of Hit-and-Run Charges in California
A hit-and-run charge in California is defined as fleeing the scene of an accident without exchanging contact information or providing aid to those involved in the incident. In addition, you may be charged with a hit and run if you leave an accident scene before law enforcement arrives, assesses the situation, and clears you to leave the accident scene.
What Are the Consequences of a Hit-and-Run Charge in California?
If you have been charged with a hit-and-run in California, it is important to understand the serious consequences. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in either felony or misdemeanor charges, depending on the severity of damage caused or resulting injuries. Consequences for a conviction can include hefty fines, license suspension, probation, or even jail time. In some situations, you may be ordered to pay restitution to any injured parties.
Common Defenses to a Hit-and-Run Charge
Being charged with a hit-and-run can be a daunting experience, but it can be comforting to know that there are defenses available. Common defenses you might consider using include:
- The Driver Was Not Negligent. The state of California is known for its strict traffic regulations, and one of them is the hit-and-run law. If you are being charged with a hit-and-run offense, an important factor to consider is whether you were negligent in your driving. Even if you are guilty of leaving the scene, if you can prove that you were not at fault or that your actions did not amount to gross negligence, then your charges may be reduced or dropped.
- The Defendant Did Not Intend to Leave the Scene of the Accident. If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, but did not intend to leave the scene, then it is important to understand that the court will take this into consideration. Under California law, a defendant who intends to remain at the scene will not be held criminally responsible for a hit-and-run offense. However, this does not mean that you are automatically off the hook. A thorough examination of facts must still occur and demonstrate that you did indeed intend to remain at the scene when the incident occurred. Depending on what was determined prior to your departure, there may be mitigating circumstances that could influence your case's outcome.
What to Do if Facing a Hit-and-Run Charge in California
Being charged with a hit-and-run offense can be a frightening experience. In the state of California, it is important to know your rights and the laws under which you are being charged. First, seek legal advice from an experienced attorney to determine the best course of action and understand the legal process. Then, take steps to protect yourself, such as documenting all communication regarding the incident, obtaining relevant records pertaining to the accident, and ensuring that you abide by all applicable laws or terms handed down by a judge or court.
Legal Representation for Hit-and-Run Charges in California
If you are facing hit-and-run charges in California, it is essential that you seek experienced legal representation. A solid legal strategy and knowledge of state laws can be the difference between a reduced sentence or serious consequences.
At The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch, our experienced hit-and-run defense attorney in California has been fighting for clients facing hit-and-run charges for years. Attorney Andritch has significant prior experience helping clients dealing with hit-and-run charges and places strong emphasis on protecting his clients’ rights.
For more information about The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch, read our clients’ testimonials.
Call us at (559) 484-2112 or reach out to us online today for a free consultation with our experienced hit-and-run defense lawyer in Fresno.