Los Angeles drivers may be shocked to discover they have been charged for a hit and run offense. Although they left the scene of an accident, they did not assume they broke the law in any way. The basis for the rationale comes from not being at fault for a collision. Someone else hit them. They didn’t hit anyone. So, they departed the scene of the accident. That’s a crime.
Making A Crucial Mistake
Drivers hit by another vehicle may not want to go through the hassle of filing an insurance claim or dealing with any other troubles. Since they are the victim, they take a “Forget about it!” attitude and leave the simply drive away. Once again, the legal statute for hit and run offenses says nothing about drivers not at fault receive immunity. The statutes state a hit and run involving only property damage is a misdemeanor. When someone has been injured or killed, the charge rises to the level of a felony.
Hitting the gas pedal after an accident and not staying to find out if any property was damaged or anyone was injured remains a truly bad idea. Not waiting for the police and giving a statement further complicates the situation. Drivers involved in an accident must stop and exchange contact information. Departing without doing either opens the door for charges of a hit and run. What if the at-fault party claims the other driver caused the accident?
The police likely can track down the driver who departed the scene with little trouble. The license plate number tells all. The driver could be pulled over only a short distance from the location of the accident.
After the Arrest
For a person who may never previously experienced any trouble with the law before, an arrest for a hit and run violation can be terrifying. The situation definitely is cause for alarm. A conviction means a criminal record, which can create problems in many areas of life. Imagine someone working a job requiring a security clearance. The clearance may be revoked upon a conviction. Those with prior convictions could face even harsher sentencing, which could translate into jail time.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the hit and run and the accused’s situation, a guilty verdict only becomes possible when guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Calling on an Attorney
Retaining the services of an attorney who represents people involved in hit and run situations becomes the only way address this truly difficult situation. An attorney may be able to present the facts of the situation in such a way reasonable doubt is raised.
In other scenarios, an attorney might be able to work something out to the benefit of the defendant. Plea bargains do remain an option when a defense attorney represents a client. The prior criminal history of the defendant plays a role in plea bargain deals. The accused might never been charged with a crime previously or even received a traffic infraction in the past. As for the accident itself, no one suffered an injury and property damage was minimal. Such factors would play a role in plea bargaining a lesser or minimal sentence in exchange for a guilty or no contest plea.
The possibility could exist that the case may be withdrawn or dismissed. The charges of hit and run could even be reduced. Many options and outcomes are possible depending on how the hit and run occurred. All cases are unique and involve individual circumstances and evidence. An attorney examines the particulars of the case and the associated evidence. The accused will sit down in a meeting with the defense attorney and discuss the most viable approach to a defense. Experienced defense attorneys are prone to make the best possible recommendation based on the circumstances of the case.
Working with the Right Attorney
An “experienced” attorney is one who represented clients in numerous hit and run cases. Working with an attorney with limited experience in hit and run cases probably won’t be as helpful to a defendant as one with a significant resume of effectively handling the same cases.
The right attorney can take some of the stress of the mind of a person facing hit and run charges. Hopefully, the attorney could bring that same person’s case to an amicable conclusion.
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