Los Angeles Hit & Run Defense Attorney
When a Traffic Accident Becomes a "Hit and Run"
When you are involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles and subsequently
flee the scene, you could be charged with a hit and run offense. It is
against the law to leave the scene of an accident before producing the
proper documentation and/or exchanging insurance information with the
other parties involved—regardless of how serious the accident actually
was. Whether you were involved in a motor vehicle accident while out on
the road, you hit a parked car or you otherwise damaged someone else's
property, you could face charges for a
driving crime if you fail to follow proper procedure.
California Vehicle Codes 20001, 20002, 20003 & 20004
California Vehicle Code 20002, you are required to follow specific procedures if you are involved in
an accident that results in property damage to another vehicle. First,
you must stop and attempt to locate the owner of the other vehicle. If
they cannot be located, you cannot leave the scene until you have left
a note that describes the circumstances of the accident and contains driver
You must also report the accident to the California Highway Patrol (CHP)
or the local police. If you are involved in an accident that results in
injury or death to another person, California Vehicle Codes 20001, 20003
and 20004 state that you must perform all of the same actions as previously
described. You must also render reasonable aid to anyone who has been
injured. This could include calling an ambulance.
What type of documentation do I have to provide?
Simply put, the best way to avoid hit and run charges after a motor vehicle
accident is to stop and exchange information with the other parties involved.
Even if the damaged property is unoccupied, leaving a visible note with
your contact information and the facts surrounding the case would be acceptable.
In every case, the police must also be notified of the accident, and you
must provide at least four types of documentation.
When providing driver documentation, it should include:
- Your full name / your phone number
- Your license plate number & state of issuance
- Your vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Your insurance carrier's information.
Penalties for a Hit and Run Conviction in California
Depending on the seriousness of the accident, the extent of the damage
that was caused and whether or not you have been convicted of a similar
crime in the past, you could either be charged with a misdemeanor or
felony offense. If you have been tied to a hit and run crime in Los Angeles, you must
act quickly to protect your rights.
Misdemeanor hit and run – if you were involved in a minor traffic accident and no one was seriously
injured, it is likely that you will be charged with a misdemeanor. This
is defined as "failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting
in property damage." The penalties may include up to 180 days in
county jail and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.
Felony hit and run – if you were involved in a more serious traffic accident wherein
someone else was killed or injured, it is likely that you will be charged with a felony offense.
This is defined as "failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving
injury or death." The penalties may include up to four years in state
prison and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.
Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners Can Defend Your Rights
Were you recently arrested for a hit and run crime in Los Angeles, CA?
If so, you should waste no time in contacting a criminal defense lawyer
at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners. With more than 70 years of combined
legal experience, our firm knows how to build an effective defense. When
our clients are first-time offenders in a hit and run case, they rarely
serve any jail time. In some cases, we have even been able to work out
an agreement with the victim, judge or district attorney—resulting
in a dismissal of the criminal proceedings.
Find out how we can assist you by giving us a call today.
Contact a Los Angeles criminal attorney at our office to discuss your case. In a
free case evaluation, we can advise you of your rights and legal options.