Whether you were involved in an accident and fled the scene because you didn’t want to be caught drunk driving or you bumped someone’s mail box while backing out of a parking space and failed to leave a note, you can be charged with a crime. Depending on the circumstances, you could face a misdemeanor or a felony. No matter what the specifics of your case, your best chance of fighting the charges is to work with a top San Diego DUI defense lawyer like Peter M. Liss.
If you are contacted by the police concerning a hit and run accident, you should not answer any questions and contact a San Diego hit and run defense attorney immediately.
California law requires anyone involved in an accident that causes damage to another person’s property to stop and provide identifying information, including the person’s driver’s license and vehicle registration. Even if the accident was caused by the other party and even if you hit something other than a vehicle –such as a fence or parking meter, you are legally required to stop and provide your information.
Hit and runs involving property damage are only misdemeanors, but if anyone is even slightly injured the charge is a felony. In these situations you are not only required to provide identifying information, but also to provide a reasonable level of assistance to the injured person. Felony hit and run charges are particularly serious and require the expertise of an experienced hit and run attorney in San Diego. In many cases involving felony hit and run charges, your San Diego DUI defense lawyer will be able to have the charges against you reduced to misdemeanors.
If you are convicted of misdemeanor hit and run charges, you will face up to six months of jail time, $1000 in fines, three years of probation, restitution fees to the victim and you will have two points added to your driving record. Felony hit and run penalties will vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries and your criminal record. If the victim was not permanently injured, you could face up to three years in prison, if he or she was permanently injured or killed, you could face up to four years in prison. If you are also convicted of vehicular manslaughter, your hit and run charges could result in an additional five years of prison time. You could also face additional charges and penalties if you are charged with drinking and driving.
It is possible to fight these charges. In fact, many misdemeanor cases can be dropped if your San Diego hit & run attorney is able to reach an agreeable civil compromise with the other party. If such a compromise is not available, your DUI lawyer in San Diego might be able to strike a plea bargain with the prosecution in order to help minimize the sentence you will face for the crime.
Your hit and run defense lawyer can also fight the evidence in some cases in order to help clear your name and prove your innocence altogether. In many cases, the case may come down to the victim claiming you were the one who hit their property without having any evidence to back up their accusations. In these cases, it is the job of the prosecution to prove that you are guilty for the crime –not the other way around.
In cases involving drunk driving accusations, a skilled San Diego DUI defense attorney can help examine the evidence against you to ensure that your rights were not violated in any way and that the evidence against you was properly handled and tested. In many cases, he may even work with experts to retest any chemical samples of your blood or urine to verify whether or not you were under the influence of alcohol or drunks or test samples of paint or examine tread marks to prove that your vehicle was not the one involved with a particular accident. A skilled San Diego drunk driving defense lawyer like Peter M. Liss can go the extra mile to gain evidence on your behalf in order to weaken the prosecution’s case and ensure your defense is as strong as possible.
If you have been charged of fleeing the scene of an accident without supplying proper identifying information, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with a top DUI defense lawyer in San Diego, CA.
Creative Commons Image by jseattle