Drivers who leave the scene of an accident in California can face hit-and-run charges even if they are not at fault. The severity of the charges depends on many factors, such as whether the accident involved property damage, injury, or death. Regardless of the circumstances, hit-and-run is a very serious charge that requires expert legal representation. The skilled defense lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are experienced in every aspect of California hit-and-run cases, and will work very hard to protect the accused driver’s rights and freedom.
California Hit and Run Law
Leaving the scene of a fatal accident is an extremely serious charge in California. A driver convicted of hit-and-run causing death faces from three months in county jail to up to four years in state prison. The driver also faces a fine of up to $10,000, a one-year driver’s license revocation, probation, and possible vehicle seizure.
In some cases, a driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident can face even more serious charges such as manslaughter or vehicular homicide. And if alcohol or drugs were involved, the driver may face an additional charge of DUI / DWI or driving under the influence of drugs.
However, a hit-and-run charge doesn’t equal an automatic conviction – far from it. There are many effective defenses to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident. It’s important to remember that the prosecutor is required to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. That means the prosecutor has the burden of convincing all 12 jurors of the driver’s guilt. The defense is under no burden to prove anything other than to prove the prosecution’s case is faulty.
Hit-and-run cases involving death are extremely complex and technical, and typically involve a great deal of physical evidence. In many cases, the assistance of an experienced accident reconstructionalist can uncover evidence overlooked by police that can help the defendant’s case.
In some cases, the defense may be better off negotiating a plea bargain rather than taking a charge of leaving the scene of an accident to trial. Plea bargains sometimes offer a satisfactory resolution to a hit-and-run charge involving death. It may be possible for the driver to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges and/or punishment. In some cases, alternative sentencing may be available that can reduce or even eliminate a jail sentence.
A California Defense Attorney is Vital
There are many viable criminal defense strategies to a California hit-and-run charge involving property damage, injury or death. The experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are skilled in every aspect of defending charges of leaving the scene of an accident, and will develop a proven defense strategy designed to safeguard the driver’s rights and minimize the consequences. Contact them today for a free consultation.