Hit and Run Defense Attorneys in San Diego
Hit and Run Charges (California Vehicle Code sections 20001-20002)
Accidents Resulting in Injury or Death
Drivers accused of contributing to accidents resulting in the injury or death of another can face charges of hit and run under VC 20001. In California, drivers involved in accidents resulting in injury or death are required to remain on scene to render appropriate aid, contact emergency assistance, and offer personal identification. These types of offenses may be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies. Regardless of which driver is at fault, any driver suspected of leaving the scene early may be charged with hit and run under VC 20001 whenever a party to the collision is injured.
Accidents Resulting in Property Damage
Drivers accused of contributing to accidents causing property damage only may face misdemeanor charges of hit and run. Under VC 20002, drivers suspected of causing property damage are required to offer their name, driver’s license, and insurance information to the other parties involved. This can include leaving a note on damaged property left unattended, such as a parked vehicle or remote structure. Drivers causing damage to public or federal property are required to report the incident to the police in a timely manner.
Penalties for a Hit and Run Conviction in San Diego
The penalties for hit and run convictions can vary based on the charges, the extent of injuries or property damage, the location of the courthouse the case will be heard in, and the quality of your legal defense.
Those accused of misdemeanor hit and run pursuant to Vehicle Code section 20002 may face the following penalties if convicted:
- Confinement to jail for up to six months
- Fines up to $1,000
- Costly restitution payments and fees
- Probation and possible loss of driving privileges with added DMV points and classes
San Diego drivers accused of felony hit and run may be facing:
- Prison sentences up to 4 years, plus other possible sentencing enhancements
- Fines up to $10,000, with additional restitution payments
- Parole or probation, each with strict regulations to abide by
- Loss of driving privileges with added DMV points and classes
A conviction for hit and run can also leave increase your exposure to a civil lawsuit. Those found guilty of hit and run in San Diego face civil suits from persons injured in accidents, persons suffering property damage from an accident, and family members of those killed in car accidents.
Defense Against Hit and Run Charges
As you know by now, the stakes can be very high when charged with a hit and run. Defending against charges of hit and run requires far more than a good understanding of the California Vehicle Code. The best criminal lawyers work simultaneously exploring any and all viable defenses to the charges, while building up a mitigation packet in support of their clients that helps humanize them to the prosecution or judge.
Each case is unique, but common defenses to hit and run charges in San Diego can include:
- Proving the accused made a reasonable attempt to give their identifying information
- Affirming the accused did, in fact, stop and render assistance following an accident
- Demonstrating cases of mistaken identity in instances of false accusations of hit and run
- Explaining an unawareness to having been involved in an actual collision resulting in injury or property damage
- Illustrating a need to leave the scene of an accident due to a legal necessity
- For property damage cases, exploring a civil compromise/repayment for financial loss caused by damage, in order to have the criminal charges dismissed
The underlying facts surrounding your alleged hit and run, your criminal history (if any), personal background and the quality of your representation all impact your case. Take control of your future by hiring a quality, locally experienced criminal defense firm. We can help you. Call us for a case evaluation.
Real Clients Share Their Experience
“We found ourselves in a tough situation with our child facing a strike felony with a sentence of up to 7 years. I made several calls to find an attorney we were comfortable with but had not made a decision due to not really knowing what was to come and how fast the initial court date was scheduled from the time of arrest. We went to the first court date with a public defender and later received a call from Mr. Shapiro’s office to ask how things had gone (I had mentioned our court date the first time I called their office). When I received that call, I had plenty of questions that were answered without rush. We ended up scheduling a time to meet to discuss the case. We found out that Juvenile cases highly differ from adult cases when it comes to how they are handled, decision making, trial etc. We always felt comfortable, he worked with us on legal fees and was always very responsive whether it be emails or phone calls. We never felt brushed off. Our child was released, placed on probation and given the opportunity to have the record sealed after successful completion. We really feel that Mr. Shapiro truly cares about his clients and I would highly recommend him to anyone facing legal issues.”
— Avvo Review