In many cases, people get charged with hit and run under VC 20002 because they simply misunderstood the situation. In others, they truly did drive away after hitting another vehicle or pedestrian. If you find yourself charged with a hit and run, no matter what the reason, you need to be able to mount the best possible case. After you’ve been arrested, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced attorney. There are other things you can do, however, to get a good result.
The best thing you can do for yourself right from the start is to avoid talking to the police. You have the right to remain silent for a reason. Too many defendants incriminate themselves early in the process by speaking to the police. Sometimes they admit something they shouldn’t have, and other times they say something that is misconstrued and makes them look guilty.
Hiring an attorney is your best bet to avoid jail time and to possibly even get a dismissal of your case. While those are the two extremes, there are also other outcomes in between, ranging from a deferred judgment to a civil compromise. Only an experienced lawyer can help to negotiate a fair outcome.
In most cases, it is a good idea to fight a hit and run charge. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that a hit and run is easier to beat than other charges. However, being convicted can come with consequences outside of the legal system, such as loss of job, deportation, or a suspended or eliminated professional license.
California Vehicle Code 20002 VC can be applied if certain conditions aren’t met by a driver at the scene of an accident. These only apply if the accident causes damage to someone else’s property, but they must be followed whether you are at fault or not. First, you must turn off your vehicle if you are able and provide your information to the other parties involved. This information includes your driver’s license and registration.
If there is no other vehicle or person involved, then you are required to leave a note with your identifying information and a description of what happened. You must also contact the California Highway Patrol or the local police.
There are several possible penalties under VC 20002. They include:
- As much as six months in jail
- Fines up to $1000, along with any additional penalties assessed by the court
- Victim restitution
- As much as three years probation
- Two points added to your driving record
While those are the legal penalties, there are several other options open to you if you are charged with a hit and run. Some of these include a civil compromise or a deferred entry of judgment.
A civil compromise is often permitted when it is the first offense for the defendant and there are no other aggravating circumstances. In some courts, a deferred entry of judgment will lead to the charges being dismissed after you complete a court-ordered program, and possibly provide financial reimbursement to the other party in the accident.
In some cases, you may decide you want to fight the case in court. However, to make that choice, you need to talk to a knowledgeable and experienced criminal law attorney. Our local Bay Area defense lawyers can examine your case with an expert eye and determine what the best strategy is to get you a satisfying resolution. Don’t wait, call or email us today, we can help!