Misdemeanor hit and run – orange county criminal attorney
What qualifies as a misdemeanor hit and run
California has two different types of hit and run offenses, one is a felony and the other a misdemeanor. You can be charged with a misdemeanor hit and run under Vehicle Code 20002 VC if you leave the scene of an accident without identifying yourself to the other parties and if someone else’s property was damaged in that accident. The property that is being discussed could be anything; it could be a mailbox, a fence, or even a pet. The difference between a misdemeanor hit and run and a felony hit and run is that in a felony charge they are worried about whether the other person was injured whereas the misdemeanor charge only concerns itself with damage to their property. These hit and run laws apply to every car accident—it doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was, how much damage was caused or how serious the injuries were. As a result, these laws can affect many people even if they have no history with the criminal justice system. This charge is really commonly included with DUI charges.
Requirements after an accident
According to Vehicle Code 20002 VC, there are three things you are required to do after an accident. You are required to stop your vehicle, give the other party your identifying information and provide your driver’s license and vehicle registration if asked. If you do not do any or all of the above, you could be facing a misdemeanor hit and run charge.
Specific elements of a misdemeanor hit and run attorney
A misdemeanor hit and run as defined under Vehicle Code 20002 VC has some specific elements that must be met in order to qualify. You must have been involved in a vehicle accident while driving. The accident must have damaged someone else’s property, and you must know that their property had been damaged or that there was a probability that their property was damaged and that you willfully didn’t perform any of the elements listed above. You can be convicted even if you performed some but not all of the requirements.
There are three common legal defenses that can be applied. Your attorney may argue that the only damage was to your vehicle. They may also argue that you didn’t have knowledge—either of the accident or about the property damage or that you weren’t the one involved in the accident.
If convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run under Vehicle Code 20002 VC , you can face any or all the following penalties. You may face up to three years of informal probation, up to six months in a county jail, up to $1,000 in fines as well as court-assessed penalties, restitution to any victims whose property you damaged and even two points on your driving record.
Ready to fight for you
If you or a loved one is facing a misdemeanor hit and run charge, you need an aggressive Orange County criminal defense lawyer like Karren Kenney on your side. Having the best misdemeanor hit and run attorney is a must! With offices in Costa Mesa, Seal Beach, Newport Beach, and San Juan, we serve people throughout Southern California, including in Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and Los Angeles. Call (855) 505-5588 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.