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    6 Defenses for Hit-and-Run Charges in California

    Posted on: November 6th, 2023 by Dod Law

    Hit and Run Defense Lawyer | Dod Law | Best Defense | San DiegoHit and Run Defense Lawyer

    In the state of California, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense. If you’re charged and convicted of a felony hit-and-run involving non-serious injury, you can face a minimum of 90 days in county jail. You could even be looking at up to a year sentence and two points on your California driving record, along with having to pay restitution to the victim and paying fines that could range from $1,000 to $10,000.   Learn more from an experienced hit and run defense lawyer.

    However, there are several potential defenses that you may be able to take advantage of after being charged. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, consult with an experienced San Diego hit-and-run defense attorney as soon as possible. 

    6 Types of Defenses for Hit-and-Run Charges in California? Hit and Run Defense Lawyer

    Criminal defense attorneys may use several common defenses when they represent clients who have received a California hit-and-run charge. In certain cases, a criminal defense attorney might also suggest a plea agreement to have your sentence reduced. 

    If you’re facing charges like this, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Some types of defenses for hit-and-run charges include:

    1. Lack of Knowledge 

    This could be a potential defense to a hit-and-run charge if you didn’t realize there were any injuries or damages, or if you didn’t even realize the accident even happened. 

    For instance, if you’re involved in a minor fender-bender accident and both you and the other driver were under the impression that there wasn’t any damage, you both probably left the accident scene willingly. However, if damage was reported by another driver who reported the accident to law enforcement, they may come to arrest you for hit-and-run charges. A criminal defense attorney could argue that you had no knowledge of this damage.

    2. No Injuries or Damage 

    It’s the job of the prosecutor to prove that there was property damage for a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge or for injuries related to felony charges. If you’re charged with a hit-and-run despite the fact that there weren’t any damages or injuries due to the accident, your lawyer may be able to prove this in court and have your charges dismissed. 

    3. You Weren’t Driving When the Accident Occurred 

    There have been cases where individuals were charged for a hit-and-run but they weren’t even driving at the time of the crash. This can occur if it was a stolen vehicle and the thief was the one who committed the hit-and-run. Another example is the accident occurred while the owner of the vehicle was actually the passenger and there was another individual driving.

    In either case, law enforcement will track the license plate information back to the vehicle owner. You may be able to fight back against the charges if your hit-and-run defense attorney can prove that another person was driving at the time of the accident.

    4. Exchanged Information 

    Under California Vehicle Code 20002, any individual involved in any type of accident that involves damage has the legal obligation to provide their information to the other party who owns the damaged property. 

    If you provided your vehicle registration, contact information, and driver’s license that’s required by law, you’ve met your legal obligations of a hit-and-run vehicle crash and with the help of your lawyer, could be found not guilty.

    5. Involuntary Intoxication 

    If before the accident you were involuntarily intoxicated or drugged, an experienced hit-and-run defense attorney could make an argument that you were driving at diminished capacity. The lawyer will need to back up this defense with strong evidence. 

    6. Responding to Emergency 

    Another valid hit-and-run charge defense is responding to an emergency. However, this decision is made by the court on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if you had to leave the accident scene in order to bring another person to the emergency room for an urgent health matter or injury, your lawyer could potentially use this as part of your defense.

    Get an Experienced San Diego Hit-and-Run Defense Attorney’s Help – Hit and Run Defense Lawyer

    If you’re facing charges for a hit-and-run in San Diego, CA, it’s important that you reach out to a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They have knowledge of California laws and a strong legal strategy that can make a big difference between serious consequences or a reduced sentence. 

    At Dod Law, our hit-and-run defense lawyers have years of experience protecting clients’ rights and helping them successfully deal with hit-and-run charges.

    Call us at our San Diego office (619) 814-5110 | Vista office 760-814-6025 or schedule an appointment by filling out our online contact form to discuss the best way forward.

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