Pasadena Hit And Run - Vehicle Code Section 20001 VC and 20002 VC
In Pasadena, hit and run offenses in which a driver is involved in an auto accident and then flees the scene can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Hit and run offenses in Pasadena are sometimes closely connected to Pasadena DUI offenses and allegations of DUI with injury in Pasadena.
Misdemeanor charges under California Vehicle Code Section 20002 VC typically apply if only property was damaged as a result of the traffic collision. When the hit and run results in injury or death to another person, felony charges under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 VC would apply. If charged as a misdemeanor, the hit and run incident would be handled by the Pasadena City Attorney’s Office. The Pasadena Branch Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office would handle felony prosecution, or misdemeanor charges from cities in the area such as Arcadia, Altadena and Monrovia.
Someone in Pasadena can be charged with hit and run regardless of which driver is at fault or the extent of the damages. Thus, even those who are ultimately deemed not at fault for a traffic accident but who flee the scene of that accident could be prosecuted under California Vehicle Code Section 20002 VC.
Collisions involving property usually involve another person’s vehicle; however it can include a wide variety of property such as houses, fences, mailboxes, street signs and even pets. Following a collision, a driver is required to stop and provide his or her name and current address to the other party involved, or leave that information in a place where the other party would find if no one is around. If requested by the other party, the driver must provide driver’s license, registration and insurance information. If the driver is not the registered owner of the vehicle, he or she must provide the name and address of the true owner. When the collision involves harm to another person, a driver must also provide reasonable assistance to the victim and contact the authorities.
Defendants convicted of misdemeanor hit and run in Pasadena may be sentenced to up to six months in jail, expensive court fines and court-mandated restitution to any and all victims. Although commonly referred to as “felony hit and run,” a hit and run offense involving injury or death to another is actually a “wobbler” offense that can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a felony, the defendant can be sentenced to up to four years in prison in addition to restitution and other court requirements. Any hit and run conviction adds two points to a person’s DMV record.
There are numerous defenses that may be raised to counter charges of felony or misdemeanor hit and run in Pasadena. If there was only damage to the defendant’s vehicle and absolutely no damage to anyone else’s property, that defendant is permitted to leave the scene without penalty. Additionally, if a driver did not realize they were in a collision, he or she cannot be prosecuted for hit and run, as it requires that the defendant intentionally flee the scene of an accident. Furthermore, there may be situations where a driver is justified in fleeing the scene of an accident, such as where an angry mob starts to gather and the driver fears for his or her safety. Under these circumstances the driver could assert a duress defense.
If you or someone you know have been charged with hit and run in Pasadena, it is critical that you consult with an effective and experienced Pasadena criminal defense attorney immediately. Pasadena Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, including an assignment as a Senior Trial Prosecutor at the Pasadena Courthouse. From his time in Pasadena, Mr. Kraut has established key relationships throughout the court system and law enforcement community and is highly respected for his legal skills and knowledge. Mr. Kraut works hard to ensure his clients receive the best representation possible.
For more information about Pasadena Hit and Run, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Pasadena Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 626-345-1899.