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How Serious Are Hit and Run DUI’s?

In 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 several different factors that will determine just how serious they are.

So, if you're calling for yourself or a loved one because you're concerned because you or they were involved in a hit and ran 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 enormous.

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

Because 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 prosecutors assess 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, they ran away from the scene 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 arresting them.

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

Suppose the police can't catch them within a reasonable amount of time. In that case, 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 hitting and runs and DUIs, it's much more severe 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 shown the prosecutors how drunk you were to be involved in some 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

Suppose you have a spotless record, and you're fortunate enough that nobody was hurt. In that case, that 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, 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 ran and you were driving under the influence, you're at large.

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

Experienced Hit and Run Lawyer in Los Angeles

Please give me all the details out there to 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, home, and neighbors see you get arrested.

So, to avoid that, we have to go in there and get the bench warrant recalled, and I will get all 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 will determine if it's a felony or a misdemeanor is injury.  If no one was injured in the hit and run, it's likely to be filed as a misdemeanor.

Experienced Hit and Run Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

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

Not all of these cases are treated the same.  I will 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 believe 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.

Related:
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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