Hit and Run Charges in California: Hit and Run Causing Injury

Opinions in blog posts are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of 1.800.NoCuffs and The Kavinoky Law Firm.

In California, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident where someone is hurt can be charged with hit-and-run causing injury. Leaving the scene of an injury accident is a serious charge that requires an expert defense lawyer to safeguard the driver’s rights. The skilled defense attorneys of The Kavinoky Law Firm have extensive experience in defending California hit-and-run cases, and will fight hard to minimize or even eliminate the consequences of a charge of leaving the scene of an accident that caused bodily injury.

A driver can be charged with hit-and-run after leaving the scene of an injury accident even if he or she wasn’t at fault. California law requires every driver who causes or is involved in an accident to stop and exchange information. Hit-and-run is an extremely serious charge, even if the accident involves only property damage. If the crash results in a hit and run causing death or serious injury, the driver faces severe consequences that can include prison time.

A driver convicted of hit-and-run with injury in California faces repercussions that may include heavy fines, a driver’s license suspension, probation, and possibly even seizure of the driver’s vehicle and jail time. If someone other than the driver suffers serious permanent injury, a convicted hit-and-run driver faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

However, there are many ways to soften or eliminate the consequences of a California hit-and-run charge. It’s possible to fight and win against a charge of leaving the scene of an injury accident with the right defense lawyer at the driver’s side. Keep in mind that the prosecutor has the burden of proving the driver’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If just one juror isn’t convinced of the driver’s guilt, there can be no hit-and-run conviction.

Another option that can help the driver avoid jail time in a California hit-and-run case is alternative sentencing. In many cases, it may be possible to substitute community service, freeway cleanup, electronic monitoring, or another sentencing alternative for jail. Whether alternative sentencing is available depends on many factors, including whether the offense was charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

Prosecutors in California hit-and-run cases sometimes offer a plea bargain, where the driver pleads guilty in exchange for reduced charges and/or punishment. Sometimes inexperienced defense lawyers press their clients to accept a deal merely to resolve a case quickly, but a plea bargain should be just what the name suggests – a good deal for both the driver and the prosecutor.

In some cases, it’s possible to negotiate what’s known as a civil compromise, where the accused hit-and-run driver agrees to pay for any property damage and/or medical expenses incurred by the other party as a result of the crash. If a civil compromise is approved by the court, the driver will face no criminal charges for leaving the scene of the accident as long as reimbursement is accomplished.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a California hit-an-run charge, it may be possible to decrease or eliminate the repercussions. The knowledgeable defense lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are experienced in every aspect of California hit-and-run law, and will fight to protect the driver’s rights and push for a favorable outcome. Contact a skilled defense attorney today for a free consultation.

Brianna Wilkins
Brianna Wilkins