Everyone knows it’s illegal to hit someone or something with your car and then drive away without providing any information regarding your identity and insurance information, but most people only know that basic concept. Here are some things a San Diego criminal lawyer believes you should know about the criminal act of hit and run, especially if you are charged with the crime.
You don’t need to cause an accident to be guilty of a hit and run. Even if someone rams their car into yours, you are required to pull over and exchange information with them. Failing to do so means you could be charged with a fleeing the scene of an accident.
Even if the only injured person in an accident was your passenger, you can still be charged with felony hit and run. Yes, that even means that if you were hit by someone else and your passenger was injured, you could still face felony charges for hit and run if you leave the scene without exchanging information. You can also face felony charges even if you thought everyone was ok but someone else involved in the accident was injured.
You can seek medical attention. It is worth noting though that if you immediately leave the scene of an accident to seek emergency assistance for yourself or your passenger, you are legally justified in leaving the scene. This is one of the strongest defenses San Diego hit and run attorneys use to fight these charges. In most cases though, you are required to provide information about the accident to hospital officials and/or police though so they can identify the other person involved in an accident and provide them with your information.
No one else needs to be involved in the accident. While accidents involving a pedestrian, a cyclist or another vehicle are more serious types of hit and run crashes, you can still be charged with fleeing the scene of an accident if you run into someone’s property, including a mailbox, tree or pet. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t matter if your car was damaged during this accident, if the other person’s property was damaged, you can face misdemeanor charges. If you hit an unattended car or other property, you must leave a note with your insurance, name and contact information or visit the nearest police station to report the accident.
Hit and run charges can sometimes be settled out of the criminal courts. If no one was injured in an accident and you make a civil settlement regarding the resulting property damage, your San Diego hit and run defense lawyer could have the charges against you dropped -if the other party agrees to the compromise.
If you have been accused of fleeing the scene of a car accident without providing identification, please call San Diego hit and run defense attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
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