hit and run LAWYER In San Diego
When you have been arrested for fleeing the scene of a car crash, I can help you fight the charges. I am hit and run defense attorney Peter M. Liss. I graduated from the top ranked University of California, Berkeley Law School and I have experience successfully defending people just like you who have been charged with criminal traffic offenses including hit and run accidents in San Diego County.
You can schedule a free consultation at my Vista criminal defense office across the street from the North County San Diego courthouse and jail by calling (760) 643-4050 or at my more central San Diego law office located off the I-5 in Carmel Valley by calling (858) 486-3024. I guarantee my clients will receive high quality representation from a top-rated hit and run lawyer and I offer reasonable rates and accept all major credit cards.
About Hit and Run Accidents in San Diego
One thing many people fail to understand about hit and run accidents is that you do not need to have caused the accident in order to be charged with this crime. Even if someone else hit your car, you can be charged if you left the scene without providing the other driver with your information.
Hit and Run Laws Don’t Just Cover People or Vehicles
While some people think you can only be charged with hit and run if you leave after hitting a car or a person, it’s important to note that not non-vehicle property such as a mailbox or someone’s pet are still covered by this law. In fact, whether you hit someone else’s property, vehicle or another person, you can be charged with leaving the scene after being involved in accident in San Diego County if you do not provide the other person (or persons) with your name, contact information, insurance information and driver’s license number.
You Can Leave to Seek Medical Attention
It is worth mentioning that you can legally leave the location of an accident in order to seek emergency medical assistance for you, your passenger or someone else injured in the accident. In these cases though, you must tell hospital officials or the police about the incident so they can identify anyone else who was involved and give them your contact and insurance information.
If you are charged with a hit and run despite the fact that you went to get emergency care and provided the police or hospital staff with information about the accident, your hit and run attorney in San Diego can ensure the charges against you are dropped.
Penalties for Fleeing the Scene of an Accident
The specific charges filed in a hit and run accident will vary based on the specific circumstances of the incident, including whether someone was injured or only property damage occurred, if anyone suffered great bodily injury and if the defendant has any prior convictions on their record. If a person injured in a hit and run accident has died, the defendant can even face vehicular manslaughter or homicide charges. When an animal dies after a hit and run accident, the prosecution may file animal abuse charges.
Felony Hit and Run Penalties
Felony hit and run charges, covered by California Vehicle Code 20001 (VC), will be filed if you fled from the scene when someone was injured even just a little. Penalties for cases that involve injury or death include jail or prison time, a driver’s license suspension and large fines, even if you were not responsible for the accident. The state may also be able to permanently seize your vehicle.
Penalties for Property Damage Hit and Runs
If you leave the location of an accident that only results in property damage, you will face misdemeanor hit and run charges under California Vehicle Code 20002 (VC), where the maximum penalty will be $1,000 and 6 months jail time. Regardless of what kind of damage occurred, the law allows the state to seize your vehicle in some cases.
Fighting Hit and Run Charges
In many hit and run cases, an attorney may be able to have the charges reduced or secure an alternative sentence such as community service to help you avoid incarceration. In cases with no injuries, the case may even be dropped if the other party agrees, which they often do when you agree to a civil settlement to cover the damages. It is critical anyone charged with hit and run contact a San Diego hit and run lawyer as soon as possible to secure the best results given the specific circumstances of your case.
How a San Diego Hit and Run Defense Attorney Can Help You
If you have been accused of this serious charge, I can help you. I have over 35 years of experience handling all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal traffic cases just like yours and have successfully tried hundreds of cases. Throughout the course of your case, I will advise you about the status of your case, argue for reduced bail, make necessary court motions such as suppressing evidence, seek reduction of charges whenever possible, and fight for alternative sentencing or the lowest possible sentencing available.
At Your Side Every Step of the Way
As your attorney, I can even take you to the police or sheriff’s station and aid you during questioning if they ask you to take your vehicle in and describe what happened. This is critical in helping to protect you from saying something that may later be used against you in court. I will then go on torepresent you at your trial or in a plea bargain and in most misdemeanor cases, you will not be required to appear in court.
Presenting the Right Defenses from the Start
I will help you evaluate all possible legal defenses to this crime, which may include mistakes by the police officer who arrested you, the fact that you were not the one driving or that you didn’t realize that you were involved in an accident. After working with you to establish the right defense for your specific case, I will help investigate your case and gather evidence on your behalf to support your defense.
Personalized Service You Can Rely On
When you work with me on your hit and run case, you can be sure that I am the only attorney working on your case. You can always expect an immediate, courteous response after contacting me any time of day thanks to my live, 24-hour answering service.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a hit and run accident, please call my offices in Vista or San Diego to schedule a free initial consultation. I guarantee you will receive top quality representation for a reasonable fee.