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Vista Hit-and-Run Defense Attorney


Hit-and-Run Charges in Vista: Your Rights

All drivers are required to stop if a vehicle accident occurs, whether the collision was serious or only caused minor property damage. Hit-and-run charges often lead to very serious legal consequences if the driver is identified later. In a case of property damage only, the charge filed will be a misdemeanor. If an injury or death occurred, the legal consequences could be extremely severe. A felony hit-and-run conviction could lead to a penalty that includes years in state prison. If you are accused of misdemeanor or felony hit-and-run, it is imperative that you exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney – the right attorney.

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Hit-and-Run Cases and California Law

Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run

Under the California Vehicle Code 20002, the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision that causes only property damage is required to immediately stop at the nearest location, locate and identify the owner of the property, or leave a clearly written notice on a conspicuous place with your name and address, and a full description of what occurred.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run

The penalties in a conviction for this offense include up to six months in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both. Your criminal attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor regarding the penalty, seek a case dismissal, seek reduced charges, or fight for an acquittal at trial based on the facts in your case.

Felony Hit-and-Run

A person may be charged with felony hit and run if another person was injured or killed in an accident and then left the scene of the accident.

Felony Hit-and-Run Penalties in California

If you have been charged with felony hit and run, the penalties imposed will reflect the severity of the injuries sustained by another driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or cyclist. In cases of serious injury or death, the prison term imposed could be up to three years of incarceration, along with fines and restitution. If another person dies in a DUI accident, an additional five years could be added to the penalty.

If a driver leaves the scene after an accident that caused an injury, permanent impairments, or death, and the driver is then identified, felony hit-and-run charges will be filed. In some cases, vehicular manslaughter or gross vehicular manslaughter can also be charged – a very serious legal situation.

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Can You Defend a Hit-and-Run Charge?

The first step to take if you are accused of a hit-and-run is to exercise your rights as a defendant: The right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The skills and experience of your criminal defense lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Various defenses could be effective, based on the facts in the case:

  • You were not driving the vehicle at the time of the accident
  • You were unaware that you had caused or contributed to a collision that led to damage or injury
  • You did not willfully leave the scene but had a valid reason for doing so, such as an injury or confusion

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Why You Need a Lawyer

If you are facing a charge of hit-and-run, the quality, experience, and legal skills of your defense lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we deliver personalized defense counsel and are dedicated to helping our clients pursue the best outcome possible, based on the facts in the case.

If you are accused of a hit-and-run in Vista, CA, the repercussions of a conviction can be very serious. For qualified, experienced defense counsel, contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately. If you are under investigation or have been charged with this offense, early intervention can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys today at (760) 630-2000.

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James N. Dicks

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