Sometimes people unknowingly hit another person while driving their car and continue on down the road.  At other times, someone might be involved in an accident where someone is injured and the driver will flee the scene of the accident for any number of reasons.  In both cases, the driver could be subjected to hit and run charges.

Sometimes, hit and run accidents occur when a driver who has been drinking may knowingly leave the scene of an accident to give the alcohol the opportunity to leave his or her system before speaking with the police.   In these cases, as with all hit and run cases, a competent criminal defense attorney is the person to contact right away.  He or she will be able to protect the driver’s rights and to make sure the police do not pressure the driver into confessing a crime that he or she was not guilty of committing.

There are two different types of hit and run charges in the state of California.  The first is categorized   as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges may also be filed against someone who damages another person’s property in an accident, or when a driver who has been involved in an accident leaves the scene without first identifying himself or herself to the other people who were involved.

The second categorization is a felony.   The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony hit and run in California, is that the former deals with property damage and the latter refers to personal injury that occurs to someone other than the driver.

The penalties for hit and run can be steep in the state of California.  The driver may be put in jail for a period of time, have to pay fines or lose his or her drivers license.  A conviction has the potential to cause insurance rates to soar as well.   People have lost their jobs and have suffered other serious consequences as the result of hit and run accidents.  All hit and run accidents are serious in terms of legal consequences.  This is why it is crucial to seek out and consult with a seasoned legal professional who has experience and knows what to do to help his or her clients.