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Hit and Run
Have You Been Charged with a Hit and Run in California?
Getting charged with a hit and run can lead to severe consequences in California, including time behind bars and big fines. These charges can jeopardize your future, which means that you have to get serious about defending yourself against them.
Whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony hit and run charges, you’ll need a top-rated, Oakland criminal defense attorney like Elliot Silver on your side to fight for you. By working with Silver Law Firm, you have the best chance of getting your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Contact attorney Silver today at (510) 995-0000 to learn more during our free and confidential consultation.
The Definition of a Hit and Run
A hit and run occurs when you’re in your vehicle and you hit another vehicle, a person, or an object and then leave the scene of the accident. This could mean getting into an accident and then fleeing without giving the other driver your insurance information, accidentally colliding into a business’ storefront and then driving away immediately without calling the cops, or hitting someone and not stopping at the scene.
K.M. – Oakland
Hit and Run Charges
In California, hit and runs fall under misdemeanor and felony charges. If the hit and run involves a vehicle or object, then the crime would be classified as a misdemeanor. The penalties are as follows:
- Up to six months in county jail
- A fine of $1,000 maximum
If the hit and run involves a person, like a pedestrian who was crossing the street or a bicyclist, then you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalties for a misdemeanor are:
- Up to one year in county jail
- A fine between $1,000 and $10,000
If you’re charged with a felony hit and run, then the penalties are:
- 16 months to three years in state prison
- A fine between $1,000 and $10,000
But if you seriously injured or killed the pedestrian, you could be sent away to prison for between two and four years. Other charges may apply if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Proving You’re Not Guilty of a Hit and Run
The burden is on the prosecutor to show that you are indeed guilty of a hit and run. They need to be able to prove a few elements to convict you of the charges:
- While you were driving, you got into an accident
- The accident caused damage to another person’s property, or resulted in serious injury or death to another person
- You knew that you were in an accident and caused property damage, injury, or death
- You did not do one or more of the following: Stop at the scene and provide your identifying information (your name and address) and/or assistance
The prosecutor will need to offer up evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. They may use video footage of the incident, witness statements, and photographs to attempt to convict you.
Defense Strategies for Hit and Run Charges
There are legal defenses you can use if you’re dealing with hit and run charges in California.
The first is that you may not have realized you were in an accident. Maybe you hit an object in a parking lot, but you didn’t feel anything, so you drove away from the scene without doing anything.
Maybe you did hit an object or another car, but only saw damage to your car and didn’t feel the need to leave a note. Or perhaps there wasn’t even damage to your car, so you thought the accident didn’t warrant you leaving a note.
If someone else was driving your car at the time the hit and run happened, then it would not be your fault. A friend might have borrowed your car, and you can prove it.
If you were injured in a hit and run, an ambulance could have taken you away to the hospital before you got a chance to give your information to the other driver or pedestrian you hit as well.
Contact Our Oakland Hit and Run Defense Attorneys
No matter what the circumstances are surrounding your hit and run charges, it’s time to find an Oakland criminal defense attorney to represent you as soon as possible. Then, you can rest assured that you have experienced attorneys in your corner.
Need representation now? Reach out to Oakland criminal defense attorney Elliot Silver today at (510) 995-0000 to schedule your free consultation.