California has some strong hit and runs laws. It is a misdemeanor to leave the scene of an accident involving property damage without exchanging necessary information, and a felony if that accident means a bodily injury. There are also civil consequences that potentially come into play. Below are the basics of what you should know.
As stated in penal code sec. 20001, different circumstances exist where the driver of a vehicle must stop immediately when an automobile accident has occurred. So this satisfies the requirements listed in traffic code sections 20003 and 20004.
The different circumstances are as follows:
If a driver fails to comply with these laws, it can result in a prison sentence no longer than one year. Penalties are no less than $1,000 and no higher than $10,000. In some situations, the driver may receive a prison sentence and a fine.
A severe or permanent injury refers to injuries that cause impairment that is permanent or the loss of function of an organ or member.
The court does, however, have the power to lower or eliminate minimum sentences. Before issuance of a fine, here are a few factors considered.
First, the court looks at the financial capabilities of the defendant. Also, waiver of penalties in the interests of justice remains possible. More impoverished people could be ordered to perform Caltrans trash pickup.
When the following penal codes are violated, such as when a driver leaves the scene of an accident, it is punishable by an additional prison term of five years on top of the punishment already prescribed.
Drivers should immediately stop their vehicle when in an accident that causes damage to another person’s property or automobile.
Part B of Penal Code 20002 states that owners of runaway parked vehicles are liable for the above penalties when stated requirements aren’t met. Failure to comply is a misdemeanor.
Convicted people face jail time of no more than six months. Also, they face fines amounting to $1,000 or less, or fines and jail time. To learn more use our online contact form or telephone us at (213) 596-9642.
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