Hit and Run
Los Angeles Hit and Run Attorneys
I WAS INVOLVED IN A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT, WHAT IS MY NEXT MOVE?
The first thing you should do is find an attorney that is local to the area that the hit and run occurred and set up a face to face consultation with that attorney. When ever an attorney meets with a client to discuss a criminal case, that conversation is protected by the attorney client privilege and anything that is discussed can not be repeated by the attorney without the client’s permission (even if the person decides not to hire that attorney).
When you go to that meeting, have a list of questions prepared to discuss with the attorney, so that when you leave the meeting, you are satisfied that you know what you are up against and how you can have a successful resolution. You need an attorney that has been down the road you are about to travel and had a successful outcome. There are many outcomes in a hit and run case that can protect a person’s record and reputation.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT IF I HAVE A HIT AND RUN CASE IN LOS ANGELES?
There are many factors that the judge and prosecutor will consider when deciding how your case should be handle. They will consider such things as, was there any injuries, how much damage occurred, was there any sign of drunk driving and do you have prior behavior similar to the current situation? It is up your criminal defense attorney to be your champion and present you and what occurred in the best light possible. This is why being completely honest with your attorney is of utmost important. Only with an accurate accounting of what happened and your background information can your attorney best represent your interests.
IF I GOT IN AN ACCIDENT, WHAT WAS I SUPPOSE TO DO?
This is the crucial question when it comes to hit and run cases in Los Angeles. If you are involved in an accident (when you hit a parked car, a moving car or some type of property), you must stop your car and exchange information (give them you insurance information, drivers license information, name and phone number) with the other party. Once you give them the appropriate information, you are free to leave. Some people think that if they want the police to come, then the other party has to wait. This is simply wrong. However, the only danger in leaving is that the other party does not tell the police the truth about how the accident happened and / or whether you complied with your duty to give them you information. The best way to deal with this is to get their information in addition to giving them yours and then you are covered. If you want to take an additional step, then call the police yourself and tell them about the accident and let them know you gave the other party your information.
A further note on this point is that even if the accident is not your fault, you must exchange information with the other party! I have had a number of clients leave the scene of an accident for one reason or another and tell me that it wasn’t their fault, so why have the prosecutors charged them with a crime? The simple answer is because you did not follow the law.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE OTHER PARTY BECOMES AGGRESSIVE AND ANGRY AFTER THE ACCIDENT OCCURS AND I FEAR FOR MY OWN PERSONAL SAFETY?
I have many clients tell me that the reason they left the scene is because the other person came out of their car in a yelling and threatening fashion, so they left the scene before they where attacked or their car damage. However, this must then be followed up with an immediate 911 call to the police reporting the accident, giving your information and letting them know that you feared for your safety and that is why you had no choice but to leave. If you did not handle it this way, then your version of events will be called into question by the prosecutor. Of course your attorney will have the chance to give your side and explanation for what happened. Obviously the more sophisticated, experienced and local your attorney is to the court your case is pending, the better your outcome will be.
IF I HIRE AN ATTORNEY, HOW WILL YOU HANDLE THE INTERACTION WITH THE POLICE?
If you hire us, we call the law enforcement officer in charge of the accident and introduce ourselves as your attorney, discuss the case with them and devise a plan for you to get your car back, give a statement if necessary and we also deal with the prosecutor regarding a fair resolution of the matter that is designed to protect your rights, freedom, reputation and criminal record. Once we get on the case, you will no long have to worry about a warrant being issued for your arrest or the police coming to arrest you at home or work.
CA VEH. CODE 20001, 20002, 20003, 20004 – HIT AND RUN
A party who was driving the vehicle can be found for a Hit and Run if the government can prove that…
1. While driving, the defendant was involved in an accident;
2. The accident caused property damage/serious injury/death to another;
3. The party knew that they had been involved in an accident that injured/caused property damage to another, or knew from the nature of the accident it was probable that damage/injury had occurred to another;
4. The party failed to stop immediately at the scene of the accident; OR
5. the party failed to provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident; OR
6. The party failed to provide their name, address, registration number of their vehicle to a peace officer.
A party can still be charged for a Hit and Run if they are an owner of a vehicle, riding in the passenger seat, and failed to stop immediately after an accident.