Important Things You Need To Know About "Hit & Run" In California

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Important Things You Need To Know About “Hit & Run” In California

Have you been involved in a hit and run accident in California? Then, you need to know the consequences and laws relevant to that specific accident. This article will help you understand all the Hit & Run Consequences and laws to make the best decisions for your case.

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Legal Definition Of Vehicle Code 20002 – Hit and Run

According to California Vehicle Code 20002, the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including cars, must immediately stop at the nearest location that won't impede traffic or jeopardize the safety of other motorists. If you especially got involved in a hit and run accident, you must stop your vehicle and exchange information with the other driver. If you left & failed to do so, you could be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

What Are The Requirements Of The Driver After An Accident?

According to vehicle code 20002, the driver who is involved in an accident that results in only property damage is required to stop the vehicle immediately. The driver of the vehicle must then take reasonable steps to locate and inform the damaged property owner about the driver's name and address. This is typically done by leaving a note on the damaged property.

The driver must notify law enforcement about the accident if the property owner cannot be located. Moving the vehicle under these circumstances does not affect any fault determinations that may be made. Therefore, drivers need to be aware of their responsibilities in the event of an accident.

Following these requirements can help to avoid potential legal problems and ensure that everyone involved is properly protected.

Here are the key points of what I discussed with you above:

  • Locate The Owner Of The Other Vehicle.
  • Present The Current Address Of the Driver and Registered Owner.
  • If Requested, Present your Driver's License & Vehicle Registrations!
  • If the vehicle owner is not present, leave a note to them and write the address information and circumstances of the accident!

What If The Vehicle Is Parked and Empty?

After any vehicle accident, it is essential to follow the requirements of the state where the accident occurred. Each state has different needs, but generally, the driver must stop their vehicle and remain at the scene of the accident.

The vehicle driver must also exchange information with the other driver, including their name and contact information. If there are any passengers in the vehicle, they must also exchange information. In some states, the driver must call the police, even if there are no injuries.

It is essential to know the state's requirements so that you can take appropriate action after an accident.

What Is The Evidence Needed To Convict A Hit And Run Case?

Any lawyer will advise you to collect as much information as possible about your hit and run accident. You need evidence when filing a claim or lawsuit as a victim. You'll need the following important types of evidence for your case:

5 Evidences Needed Hit & Run In California | McCrary Law Firm
  • Security, CCTV, or Surveillance
  • Footage of the accident, if available.
  • Testimony from witnesses or accident reconstruction experts.
  • Any bills, legal documents, estimates, or invoices you receive for your medical treatments or property repair/replacement costs.
  • Your medical records.
  • Documents from your work especially pay stubs or time off requests, indicate your lost wages.

Evidence is critical in these cases and can make the difference between winning and losing your case. So make sure to get as much evidence as possible.

What Are The Penalties For Leaving The Scene After a Hit and Run Accident?

The penalties or consequences can be significant if you are convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run. You may take about six months in jail plus a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, your driver's license may be suspended for up to a year. The judge may also order you to complete community service or pay restitution to the victim.

The penalties or consequences for a hit and run are severe because leaving the scene of an accident is seen as a disregard for the wellbeing of others. Of course, it is possible that the accident itself may have been unintentional. Still, fleeing comes across as a deliberate criminal choice, even if you didn't realize you were supposed to pull over.

5 Evidences Needed Hit & Run In California | McCrary Law Firm

Because the consequences of a hit and run conviction are so severe, it is vital to fight the charge if you have been accused of this crime. If you've been injured in an accident, an experienced attorney can help you investigate the incident and build a strong case. Do not hesitate to seek legal help if you face hit and run charges. Read: Procedure Of Police Investigation on Fatal Car Accident

Possible Defenses To Vehicle Code §20002 Misdemeanor Hit And Run

There are some possible defenses against hit and run charges that may work depending on the details of your case. Possible defenses of vehicle code 20002 are as follows:

  • The driver of the car or vehicle did not realize an accident had occurred
  • No damage occurred
  • Damage only happened to the driver's car
The Driver Did Not Realize an Accident Had Occurred

The driver may have been unaware that an accident occurred because the damage was minor. The prosecution in the case must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was aware of the accident and failed to take action, such as leaving identifying information or contacting law enforcement. If the damage were so minor that it would not have been reasonable for the driver to believe that an accident had occurred, then the prosecution would not be able to meet its burden. As a result, in the end, the charges should be dismissed.

No Damage Occurred

No damage occurred as a result of the accident. Suppose the prosecution cannot prove an essential element of the crime. The driver had no knowledge that damage had occurred. As a result, the brakes failed, and the driver bumped into a fence. However, the driver did not notice any damage caused by the accident. The lack of damage proves that the accident did not cause harm. The only qualifying way to know for sure is to inspect the vehicle by a qualified mechanic. If the mechanic finds no damage, then none likely occurred.

If, however, the mechanic does find damage, then it is possible that the accident did cause it. In either case, there is no evidence that the driver knew that any damage occurred, so the prosecution in the court cannot prove an essential element of the crime.

Damage Only Occurred To The Driver's Car

According to the law, individuals are only guilty of vandalism if they cause damage to the property of another. In the case of our driver, they did not cause any damage to the property of another - the only damage was to their car. Given this information, convicting the driver of vandalism would be unjust.

Damage occurred only to the driver's car, so they should not be held liable for any damages.
The law is clear on this point: individuals are guilty of vandalism only if they cause damage to someone else's property. In this case, no such damage occurred, so the driver should not be convicted.

Overview Of Hit & Run With Injury – VC 20001

In California, it is a felony to hit someone with your car and then flee the point of the accident without stopping to render aid or exchange information, as required by law. This crime is a "hit and run" and is punishable by up to four years in state prison and a minimum fine of $1000.

Suppose you are involved in a hit and run accident that results in injury to another person. In that case, you face an even more severe charge: felony hit and run causing damage under California Vehicle Code section 20001. This offense is punishable by many years in state prison and a considerable fine.

5 Evidences Needed Hit & Run In California | McCrary Law Firm

If the victim dies from the accident, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (VC 23153), which carries a potential prison sentence of four, six, or ten years. In addition to any vehicle-related criminal penalties you may face, you will also likely have your driver's license suspended for one year.

Furthermore, the consequences of a hit and run accident are severe. Therefore, if you are involved in such an accident, you must stop at the scene and comply with the law.

Examples Of Hit & Run With Injury

A hit and run accident is a collision where one of the drivers fails to stop and exchange information or render aid. Examples of hit and run accidents include: A driver hitting pedestrians in the crosswalk and then speeding off.

A driver is hitting your unattended parked car without leaving contact information or any means of collecting damages. Therefore, if you are unfortunately got into a hit and run accident, it is essential to remain calm and take the following steps:

  • Call The nearby Police even if there are no injuries; it is important to file a report as this will be essential if you need to make an insurance claim.
  • Get Medical Attention.
  • If in case, you or anyone involved in the accident is injured, it is vital to get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Collect Evidence.
  • If possible, try to get the license plate number of the other vehicle or any other identifying information. Take pictures of the damage to both cars and get the contact information of any witnesses.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company.

Your insurance company will likely have a process in place for hit and run accidents. They can suggest/advise you on what steps to take next. In some cases, they may even offer coverage for damages even if the other driver is not identified.

If you become the victim of a hit and run accident, taking quick and decisive action can help you minimize the financial impact and regain control over the situation.

5 Evidences Needed Hit & Run In California | McCrary Law Firm

Some Related Crimes Hit & Run in California

There are some related crimes to hit and run with injury. These include:

  • Felony hit and run – VC 20001
  • Driving under the influence – VC 23152a
  • Driving without a license – VC 12500a
Felony Hit and Run – VC 20001

VC 20001 is the California law that defines the crime of felony hit and runs. This vehicle section makes it a felony for a driver to hit & run the scene of an accident when another person is killed or has a severe injury. In addition, drivers of the vehicle are supposed to stop and give reasonable assistance to injured persons.

This is a wobbler offense if you violate vehicle code 20001. It has to be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor charge for this crime can result in imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, whereas a felony charge entails up to three years in state prison.

This crime is taken very seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors in California. Suppose you are going through charges for a Felony Run. In that case, it is essential to contact an experienced professional personal injury attorney who can help you defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Driving Under The Influence – VC 23152a

Driving a vehicle under the influence is a severe offense in California. VC 23152a makes it a crime for a person to operate a motor vehicle while "under the influence" of alcohol. "Under the influence" means that a driver is impaired to the point where they can no longer drive safely.
In California, this statute can prosecute motorists even if their blood alcohol concentration is below 0.08%.

California penalties for a first, second, or third DUI offense under VC 23152a include misdemeanor probation, fines, DUI school, and a suspended license. However, it might be possible to continue driving if the defendant installs an ignition interlock device in his car.
If you have ever been charged with (vehicle law) driving under the influence, it is important to seek experienced & professional legal counsel as soon as possible.

Driving Without a License – VC 12500a

In California, driving without a license is what we call a "wobblette" offense. This designates that it has the potential to be charged as either a misdemeanor or an infraction non-criminal. In addition, driving without a valid claim is a violation of Vehicle Code 12500 VC. If you drive without a license, you could be fined up to $250.

VC 12500a is a criminal offense in California that can result in up to six months of imprisonment and a fine of $1,000. If caught driving without a request, you could face some serious penalties. If you have been charged with driving without a license, you should contact an experienced professional injury attorney who is ready to help you to fight against the charges and protect your rights.

5 Evidences Needed Hit & Run In California | McCrary Law Firm

Contact An Experienced Hit & Run Accident Attorney in California

Hit and run accidents can be very complicated, especially if there are injuries involved. That's why it's essential to have a legal team on your side that understands the ins and outs of California law. At McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping victims of hit and run accidents get the compensation they deserve. If personally you or someone you love has been injured in a hit and run accident, don't hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and answer any questions you may have.


Is Hit and Run a Felony in California?

Hit and run would be a felony in CA if the accident resulted in death or serious bodily injury. The penalties or consequences can include up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

How Long Do You Have To Report a Hit and Run in California?

You must report a hit and run to the police as soon as possible. This includes writing the accident even if you are not the driver who hit the other vehicle. You may also require/need to provide information such as your name, address, and registration number to the other driver.

Does California Police Investigate Hit and Run?

Yes, California investigates hit and run accidents. If the police have any leads, they will follow up to identify the driver who fled the scene.

Can You Sue Someone For a Hit and Run in California?

Yes, you can sue someone for a hit and run in California. In addition, if you can identify the driver who fled the scene, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person.

What is The Penalty For Leaving The Scene of an Accident in California?

The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in California depends on the severity of the accident. If the accident resulted in death or serious bodily injury, the penalty could include up to four years in jail/prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the accident resulted in property damage, the penalty is typically a fine of up to $1,000.

Our personal injury services extend across various locations to ensure we can assist you wherever you may be. We are proud to offer our expertise in Rocklin, Folsom, Yuba City, Woodland, Fresno, Pleasanton, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Roseville, Natomas, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Fair Oaks, Elk Grove, and El Dorado Hills. Each location is equipped to provide you with the comprehensive support and legal guidance you need for your personal injury case.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.