Los Angeles Hit and Run Attorney
Facing Charges on Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Under California state law, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident you are required to stop and exchange information with the other driver. If you inadvertently hit a car in a parking lot and are unable to locate the car’s owner, you are required to leave a note on the car containing your information and file a police report as soon as possible. When people fail to stop or leave a note after hitting another car, they can be charged with hit and run. In cases where no one is injured, hit and run is a misdemeanor offense that could result in fines, driver’s license suspension, even jail. In injury or fatal hit and run accidents, drivers face felony charges that could result in prison, heavy fines, and the suspension of their license if convicted. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we conduct our own investigation of a hit and run accident to determine if the prosecution is ignoring important information in a rush to judgment to convict our client.
If you’ve been charged with hit and run, contact Beverly Hills Hit and Run Attorney Jonathan Franklin today to schedule a free confidential consultation before you talk to the police. We can protect your rights and ensure you aren’t forced into admitting to crime you didn’t commit.
Hit and Run and Alcohol
A number of hit-and-run accidents involve people who have been drinking. In some cases, a driver – whether drunk or not – may leave the scene of an accident in the hope that he or she will have time to “sober up” before being caught or reported to the police. In other instances, a driver who has been drinking may not realize he or she has hit someone. The distinction can be important since it involves a question of intent: did the driver of a vehicle realize he or she had been in an accident and knowingly and intentionally leave the scene?
While you may still be held accountable for hit and run, the charges against you may be reduced if it becomes clear that you did not knowingly leave the scene of an accident because you were worried about being charged with drunk driving. You can bet the prosecutor in your case will check credit card receipts and bar and restaurant tabs to determine if alcohol played a role in your hit-and-run accident. That’s why we work hard to stay ahead of an investigation, preparing a defense against allegations of drunk driving and hit and run.
Intentionally Leaving the Scene of an Accident
If there is little question of your guilt in leaving the scene of an accident, it’s still important to tell the court why you fled the scene. While there is no guarantee the court will reduce your sentence, extenuating circumstances and a clean driving record may convince a judge to reduce the sentence or ultimately dismiss the case against you. For example, did you stop and, after inspecting your car, decide there wasn’t enough damage to justify exchanging information? Did you believe the other driver wasn’t going to stop? Did you have auto insurance that ultimately took care of any damage? Again, while these kinds of reasons may not absolve you of criminal responsibility, they may convince the court to reduce or dismiss the charge against you.
Contact a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer
A conviction for hit and run can result in jail, fines, and the loss of your license. Additionally, it could increase your insurance rates and result in the loss of your job if your employer refuses to let you take a leave of absence to serve your jail or prison sentence. To schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case contact Los Angeles Hit and Run Attorney Jonathan Franklin today.