First of all, a lot of people believe you can’t have a hit and run if the accident you were involved in wasn’t your fault. This is obviously false. Any accident you’re involved with, even if it’s not your fault, you have to stop and exchange information with the person.
If the person’s not there you have to leave a note on the car. A lot of times you’re better off just calling the police and reporting the accident. That way, at least you have a record of you and nobody could ever challenge you later. A misdemeanor hit and run is covered under California Vehicle Code 20002. A felony hit and run is covered under California Vehicle Code 20001.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
I can’t tell you how many hit and runs I’ve done in the San Fernando Valley where my client gets in an accident and leaves the scene. The other party waits there, calls the police and that’s it, they’ve got the hit and run.
I had one client who was just sitting at a red light waiting for it to change and somebody rear-ended him. Because he did not have a valid driver’s license, he drove away.
Obviously, now instead of a nice accident where he can collect some money for his pain and suffering and get his car fixed by the other party’s insurance, now he’s got a hit and run case. He’s got to go to criminal court and it even looks worse on the driver’s license when you get that hit and run conviction.
So, it really doesn’t make any sense why somebody would do that, but sometimes people panic. Sometimes people make bad decisions and then they’re in a position where they don’t know what to do after.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had hit and run accidents in the San Fernando Valley and the client waits months and even years to deal with it. They just bury their head in the sand. They assume the worse — which is not a good thing to do — and then they put themselves in a position where they’re looking at potential jail time when they get out. So, nobody wants to be looking at a jail sentence.
Reviewing your Hit and Run Case with an Experienced Lawyer
What you want to do is get in there as fast as you can, hire a defense lawyer like me who knows the ropes and can help turn the tide back in your favor. But what happens in these hit and runs in the San Fernando Valley is that there are so many of them that the police just have a stack of cases on their desk.
So, if it’s not some horrible injury or somebody passed away, they’re going to get to it when they get to it. And again, there are so many of them. There are thousands of drivers in the San Fernando Valley and hundreds of hit and run cases. Sometimes it takes weeks, even months for the police to actually do something about a hit and run case.
That’s why it’s so important that you have the opportunity to get your side of the story in there. You have the opportunity to do the right thing by handling your hit and run case the right way. So, don’t bury your head in the sand.
Don’t put yourself in the position where you’re worrying about it all the time. Take a pro-active stance on the case. Get your attorney right away and make some of the moves necessary to get yourself taken care of.
A lot of times I’ve actually had cases where we’re able to work things out with the other party who you hit and the police don’t file any charges. Even when they do file charges, a lot of times I’m able to get what’s called a simple compromise where the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the charges as long as the other party signs a document saying they’re satisfied.
That they were paid by your insurance company or by you or a combination of both. If we can’t get a simple compromise, if we can’t get a dismissal because we cooperated, then we try obviously, to get the least amount of damage to your criminal record and least amount of punishment.
In order to do that though, you’re going to need to be able to pay the other party back — either through your insurance or through your own money– and we’re going to need to get in there and take care of things the right way, be professional about it and do damage control.
Retain a San Fernando Valley Criminal Defense Lawyer
So, if you’ve got a hit and run case in the San Fernando Valley, it’s imperative that you get to an attorney as soon as possible. Talk to him, be honest, tell him what happened. I hate it when people don’t give me all the information because a lot of times they put themselves in a bad position. You don’t want to be in a bad position.
You want to be in a good position. Tell your attorney everything. Don’t hold anything back. Let them decide how they’re going to do your defense. Let them decide what spin they’re going to put on it. Don’t give the attorney a spin in the beginning because sometimes that spin is not accurate and leaves out crucial facts that your attorney needs to know in advance.
As far as giving a statement to the police, obviously if you’re going to do that — and sometimes you don’t want to do that — but if you are going to do that, you want to do that with the assistance of your attorney.
Don’t go in there and think you’re going to be able to out-smart the police or just talk your way out of everything. Let your attorney help you. That’s what attorneys are there for.. That’s what they’re trained for and that’s what’s going to give you the best possible chance to get the best result in your hit and run case in the San Fernando Valley and Van Nuys Court hit and run cases.
Categorised in: Hit and Run