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How Serious Are Hit and Run DUI’s?

In the state of California, there are two types of hit and run crimes, which include either a misdemeanor or felony offense.

California Vehicle Code 20002 VC defines misdemeanor hit and run and Vehicle Code 20001 defines felony hit and run cases.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of hit and run DUI's that occur in Los Angeles county and there are number of different factors that will determine just how serious they actually are.

So, if you're calling for yourself or for a loved one because you're concerned because you or them was involved in a hit and run while driving under the influence, I think the first consideration is, was anybody injured?

Injuries are a Crucial Factor in Hit and Run Cases

If you hit a pedestrian, another vehicle, a cyclist, whatever the case may be, the injury component is huge.

How Serious Are Hit and Run DUI's in Los Angeles?

Because obviously, judges, prosecutors, the police are supposed to be protecting the public, so if somebody gets hurt, they're going to punish the offender.

If a death occurs during a hit and run because you were driving under the influence and the police catch you, you're potentially looking at a second-degree murder charge.

So, that gives you an idea of probably the number one factor that is assessed by prosecutors when deciding how to handle a hit and run case related to a DUI.

Fleeing the Scene Due to Intoxication

Now, one big thing in these cases is that most of the time, I see people getting away from the scene of the crime because they're driving under the influence.

In other words, the reason that they ran away from the scene was because they knew they were intoxicated.  They knew they had alcohol in their system and they knew the police would eventually be coming around and arrest them.

So, a lot of times, they'll get in a hit or run accident, either hitting a parked car, or a moving vehicle and then they run away.

If the police can't catch them within a reasonable amount of time, they're probably never going to be able to get them for driving under the influence because they won't be able to get their blood or breath to be able to prove they were driving under the influence.

They'll only have the suspicion that the person probably ran away because they were drunk.

Related California Crimes for Hit and Run

  • Vehicle Code 20001 – Felony Hit and Run
  • Vehicle Code 23152 – Driving Under the Influence
  • Vehicle Code 23153 – DUI Causing Injury
  • Vehicle Code Section 14601 – Driving on Suspended License
  • Vehicle Code 12500(a) – Driving without a License

When it comes to hit and runs and DUIs, it's obviously much more serious than just a regular DUI because now you're not only dangerous to the public, but you've also caused an incident with the public.

You either hit someone or something and now you've really shown the prosecutors how drunk you were to be involved in some sort of incident or accident.

Penalties for Hit and Run

You're typically going to be looking at jail time in LA county if you have a DUI hit and run case.

Penalties for Hit and Run in Los Angeles

If you have a spotless record and you're fortunate enough that nobody was hurt, that definitely gives you a fighting chance to keep out of jail, especially now with the Coronavirus and the overcrowding in the LA county jails.

The police and prosecutors, and even judges, don't want to put people in jail because they don't have room for them.  That's why, as I write this post, there's an emergency bail order out basically making all crimes — not all — but most crimes, no bail.

So, if you or a loved one was involved in a hit and run and you were driving under the influence and you're at large.

This means the authorities haven't got their hands on you — it's definitely coming in and sitting down with me and talk to me about what happened and why it happened.

Experienced Hit and Run Lawyer in Los Angeles

Give me all the details out there so that we can begin the process of trying to get this behind you. 

You don't want to be looking around over your shoulder with a warrant out for your arrest because you haven't dealt with something.  The police come to your work, your home and your neighbors see you get arrested.

So, in order to avoid that, we have to go in there and get the bench warrant recalled and I will get al the paperwork related to the case and then we'll start to work on it so we can get it taken care of for you.

The main thing that is going to determine if it's a felony or a misdemeanor is injury.  If no one was injured in the hit and run, it's likely going to be filed as a misdemeanor.

Experienced Hit and Run Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

If, on the other hand, somebody was seriously injured, that's the standard that could cause it to be filed as a felony and you looking at state prison.

Not all of these cases are treated the same.  I'm going to need to know all the facts and the details surrounding your particular case — what happened.

We're also going to look at your background because that's what the prosecutors are going to do in determining how serious they think the case is and what they think the penalty should be if you're charged with a hit ad run DUI in Los Angeles county,

Pick up the phone.  Ask to speak to Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0963.

Defense of Hit and Run Cases Causing Death in Los Angeles

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI law issues in California and throughout the United States.

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