Hit and Run Charges Vehicle Code (VC) 20002
After being in an accident, you are required under California law to exchange insurance information. Failing to do so can result in a charge of hit and run.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Los Angeles County, but you failed to exchange current insurance information with the other party, the police can charge you with a hit and run (VC 20002), regardless of who the at-fault driver is.
Typically, the police department will send you a letter following the accident, requesting that you come to the station to discuss the incident. Another letter will be mailed advising you of a court date for the charge of hit and run.
Consequences of a Hit and Run
Although a hit and run is a misdemeanor, it is still a criminal offense. The minimum consequences include:
- 1-5 years of Probation
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Two or three points being added to your driver’s license record
- Increased insurance rate
- Criminal record - Misdemeanor or Felony depending on injury.
Getting Three Points on Your License
When charged with a hit and run, according to California Vehicle Code (VC) Section 20002, you could possibly face:
- Two points added to your driving record
- An additional point for the accident itself
- Three points total to your license
The best way to correct this problem is by working out a civil compromise.
Overview of a Civil Compromise
Have Your Hit and Run Charge Dropped
Additional Information about a Hit and Run
If you are in a motor vehicle accident but did not provide your proof of insurance to the other driver, you can be charged with a hit and run (VC 20002), regardless of who the at-fault driver is. Insurance information must be exchanged with the other driver once an accident occurs.
Often, pulling over and meeting with another driver after a minor accident in Los Angeles County is difficult due to congested streets. However, if you fail to find an acceptable place to exchange insurance information and the other driver takes down your vehicle’s license plate, he or she can call the police and report a hit and run (VC 20002). At that time, you may receive a letter from the police department advising that you are formally being charged with a hit and run. Depending on the situation, the police may also show up at your residence.
Punishment for a Misdemeanor
As long as the other party involved in the accident is unharmed, your hit and run charge will be a misdemeanor. However, if the other party is seriously injured and you leave the scene of the accident without first exchanging insurance information, the offense becomes a felony. In that case, you face much stiffer consequences.
Generally, the punishment for a misdemeanor hit and run is a three-year summary probation, around a $1,000 fine, and two points being added to your driver’s license record. As a result, there is a good chance that your insurance rate will increase significantly.
These are all good reasons to try to work out a civil compromise. With that, you would pay for damages to the other party’s vehicle. However, for a civil compromise to be successful, both the judge and prosecutor must sign off. If the civil compromise is agreed to, your hit and run case will be dismissed.
In Los Angeles County, We Can Help
If you have been charged with a hit and run in Los Angeles County, contact our law firm for a free legal consultation. By calling 844-999-9987, you can speak directly with a qualified attorney.