A hit and run in Los Angeles, depending on the severity of the accident, can be charged as a misdemeanor, and can carry a possible sentence of up to six months in the county jail as well as a fine of up to 1,000.00 dollars, or both. Penalties can also include 3 years of probation, restitution for the damage to property as well as 2 points on a California driving record.
A felony hit and run, which may include severe injury or the death of another (homicide) can carry much more severe penalties.
If you are convicted of a felony hit & run (including those resulting in death), the punishment includes:
- A fine of between 1,000 and 10,000 dollars &16 months to 3 years in state prison.
- Two to four years in state prison in cases where death or serious injury occurred.
It is important to note that to prove that you are guilty of this crime, the court must prove that the accident occurred while you were driving, and that the accident caused death or serious or permanent injury to another.
The prosecutor must prove that you knew that an accident caused injury or death to another and that you failed to immediately stop, provide aid as well as provide proper identifying and contact information.
Simply put, there are a few common defenses to a homicide hit and run.
These include, but are not limited to:
- You did not realize that you had been involved in an accident, and there was no way that you could reasonably be expected to have known. This is often used as an argument when no collision took place.
- The occurrence of the accident was known to you, but the results of it (property damage, injury, or death) were not, nor could be expected to have been known.
There are a few ways that your professional Los Angeles hit & run lawyer would typically use these arguments:
The first would be in a situation where your car was not involved in the actual collision. Let’s surmise that your reckless driving caused other vehicles to collide. While you were still “involved” in the accident for purposes of the law, you would not necessarily know you were involved in the accident that took place behind you.
The second would be if, for instance, you were driving a large SUV, but you backed into a compact car or an individual. Although someone may have been injured, you may not have realized that you had even hit anything or anyone.
A third way for this defense to apply would be if you knew you were involved in an accident but had no reason to know there were any injuries. Suppose, for example, that you knew you were in an accident, but you weren’t hurt, and the other driver said no one else was hurt, and you then drove off before providing your information. In this case, it is likely you would only be liable for misdemeanor (not felony) hit and run, even if it were later ascertained that the other party’s passengers did sustain serious injury or died.
A hit & run, under any circumstances, is a profoundly serious legal matter. Consulting with your Los Angeles hit & run attorney is the best way to determine the facts to mount the defense you certainly will require.
What must the State Prove to Convict You of a Felony (Homicide) Hit & Run?
To convict you for a felony hit and run, the prosecution must prove the following facts:
- You were involved in an accident that resulted in injury or death to another.
- You knew that an accident had occurred.
- You were aware that someone (other than yourself) was injured or killed, and that the accident was severe enough that it probably caused injury or death to another person.
Your hit & run lawyer will make sure that all the facts are presented correctly, and implant doubt as to whether any of the above conditions were met.
What Conditions Would I Have to Omit, to Be Convicted of a Felony Hit & Run?
The prosecutor must also prove that you willfully failed to perform one or more of the following duties:
- Immediately stopping your car at the scene.
- You failed to provide identifying information to the driver and diver’s injured passengers, or any law enforcement officers.
- You failed to provide reasonable assistance to any injured person(s) to help secure medical attention, or transportation for any injured person who needs or requested medical assistance.
- Upon request, you failed to provide your driver’s license and other identification of your injured passengers to the other involved party or to any law enforcement agency.
This all should make you aware that this is a complex legal process, and consulting with a professional criminal attorney is mandatory for you to avoid life-changing consequences.
How Does Being Intoxicated Affect my Homicide Hit & Run Charge
Driving under the influence, or DUI is a very severe offense even if you didn’t cause an accident or the injury or death of another. If your accident is exacerbated by a DUI and leads to the death of someone else, you may face even worse criminal charges, such as vehicular manslaughter.
If you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, get in an accident, and leave the accident scene you will most likely face two charges: driving while intoxicated (or DUI), and a felony hit and run if there are injuries or death. Either of these charges is serious on its own, but they come with even more severe penalties when charged together.
I Have Been Charged with a Homicide Hit & Run in Los Angeles, How Should I Proceed with My Defense?
You have been charged with a profoundly serious charge, the consequences of which could alter your, and your family’s, future forever. There are proven defenses you can use, and the professionals at the Miranda Rights Law Firm have helped tens of thousands of California clients. Your future and freedom are on the line, get the empathetic and knowledgeable help you need, and contact them immediately.