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Los Angeles Hit-and-Run Defense Attorneys

Have You Been Arrested for a Hit-and-Run? We’re Here to Help

Hit-and-runs are considered a very serious offense by the California courts. If you have been arrested for such a crime, then chances are you are facing a lengthy prison sentence, as well as incredibly hefty fines. Going into a criminal trial alone can be a terrifying prospect. Who will your public defender be? Will they be able to do their job? What if they fail you? Those frightening questions are exactly why you should forgo the public defender and work with a highly experienced legal team.

At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our attorneys have helped hundreds of clients walk away from their trial either completely acquitted or with lowered penalties. Many of those clients have been charged with performing a hit-and-run, and we can provide the same positive results in your case. We know the court system and what defense will serve you best. To secure the representation of a skilled Los Angeles hit-and-run criminal defense attorney, call our firm at (213) 688-0460. We are ready to help.

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Misdemeanor vs Felony

When learning to drive, most of us were warned of hit-and-run collisions where a driver causes an accident and then flees the scene of the crime. Hit-and-runs can involve striking another driver, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or motorcyclist with your car. Under California law, all drivers involved in an accident are required to stop and give assistance to anyone who could have been injured in the crash. If either driver, whether they are the one at-fault or not, neglects to do stop, then it is considered a hit-and-run.

While hit-and-runs are taken incredibly seriously in the California courts, the crime is actually considered a wobbler. This means that it could misdemeanor or a felony depending on the underlying charges. In order for a hit-and-run to be considered a felony, the accident must have caused serious injury or fatality. If you side-swiped a biker, then it is reasonable to assume that they were injured and need assistance. Driving away could be considered a felony hit and run. In contrast, if you only tapped the side of a large truck, then you might assume that the driver was not injured, meaning you may not face a felony charge.

On the other hand, if you are charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run, then the prosecution must be able to demonstrate four key factors. Those are:

  • You were involved in an accident while driving
  • The accident resulted in damage to someone else’s property, whether that be a car or building
  • You knew, or should have known, that you have been involved in the property damage causing accident
  • You failed to stop at the scene of the accident, or you failed to provide proper identifying information to the owner of the property that you damaged

If the prosecution is unable to show each of these factors, then the accident may not be considered a true hit-and-run, meaning your charge is not valid. A good violent crime defense attorney will lean on each of these factors, disproving them if possible. That way you can walk away from the trial without having to face the extensive penalties for a hit-and-run charge.

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Penalties for a Hit-and-Run Charge

As we said above, a hit-and-run offense is a wobbler. The penalties you face will depend on whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony charge will be much harsher, but that doesn’t mean that a misdemeanor will be a cakewalk. If you are charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run, you can expect to face:

  • Up to one year in a county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000

For a felony charge, you may be sentenced to:

  • Up to four years in a state prison
  • A fine of between $1,000 and $10,000

You should keep in mind that a felony charge does not end once you are released from jail or pay your fine. Being labeled a felon means that you will lose certain rights in your everyday life. Some of the rights you lose include:

  • Voting
  • Owning a firearm
  • Traveling internationally
  • Parenting or visiting your children

A felony charge will also make it incredibly difficult to get a new job, which you will need if you have been in jail for several years. Felons are often treated as dangerous or as second-class citizens, no matter the circumstances around the crime or how long it has been since you served your time. Setting up an air-tight defense may be your only shot at making sure you avoid a felony hit-and-run conviction.

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Defending Against a Hit-and-Run Arrest

When preparing the perfect defense for your hit-and-run charge, your attorney should take an in-depth look into the facts of your case. Your arrest, the damages caused in the alleged accident, and whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony must all be considered.

For a misdemeanor charge, our attorneys may employ such defenses as:

  • There was no property damage caused in the accident
  • You did not realize that there was a collision, and it was reasonable for you to leave the scene
  • The alleged victim agreed to a civil compromise, meaning criminal charges are not needed
  • You were a passenger, not the driver
  • You were not involved in the accident at all, and it is a case of mistaken identity

On the other hand, for a felony defense, our attorneys may instead argue that:

  • The alleged accident did not cause any injuries or deaths
  • It was unsafe for you to stop your vehicle and help
  • You were a passenger, not the driver
  • You were not involved in the accident at all, and it is a case of mistaken identity

However, determining the right defense is not as easy as looking up what to do on a web page. Your attorney should be able to properly investigate your case and figure out how to attack the arguments made by the prosecution. To get the best-case scenario in your hit-and-run trial, you need to work with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who experience achieving positive case results for hit-and-run charges.

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Top-Notch Legal Aid

Facing criminal charges can be terrifying. Your reputation is in tatters, you have been taken away from your family, and you have no idea if this court-appointed public defender will even be able to do their job properly. That is why you need to call Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. We will provide the support you need, while also working tirelessly to find the defense strategy for your trial. If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, then call one of the most experienced criminal defense teams in Los Angeles at (213) 688-0460.

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Additional Information

Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

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