DUI Hit and Run in Los Angeles

  • May 25, 2017

    According to California law, if an individual is part of a traffic collision, then he or she must remain at the scene of the accident to exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved in the accident. When an individual leaves the scene of an accident before exchanging contact information, it could lead to a hit and run charge. In many circumstances, hit and run accidents involve drivers under the influence leaving the scene of an accident to avoid arrest. Depending on several factors, an intoxicated driver who leaves the scene of an accident could be charged with a DUI and a hit and run.

    Hit and Run and DUI Defense

    It is not uncommon for drivers under the influence to become scared and nervous after a collision, which will cause them to leave the scene immediately after the accident occurred. In many hit and run accidents, the other party or witnesses will record license plate information and report it to the police officer when he or she arrives at the scene. There are many times when a hit and run driver is stopped by a police officer soon after the accident. If the collision caused extensive damage to the vehicle, the driver may not make it far from the scene before he or she is found by a police officer.

    After the arresting officer performs a DUI investigation, he or she may determine it is warranted to charge the driver with a DUI and a hit and run. When the accident solely involves property damage, which is a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 20002 VC., usually the driver will be charged with a misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor hit and run. However, if an individual is injured because of the collision, then the driver could face DUI with injury charges according to California Vehicle Code Section 23153 VC. Furthermore, driver could also be charged with a felony hit and run according to California Vehicle Code Section 20001 VC. Those who are convicted of a felony hit and run and/or DUI offense could face prison sentences, which is why these individuals should contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer can determine if the driver facing charges has a valid defense.

    An individual facing a hit and run and DUI charge may have a legitimate defense. A hit and run is considered to be a deliberate crime, and there have been numerous occurrences when the driver was unaware he or she was ever involved in an accident. There have also been many cases where drivers were moving their cars to a secure place with intentions to return to the scene of the accident. Furthermore, the driver may have felt threatened by the other party and had justifiable cause to leave the scene.

    Circumstantial Evidence

    In certain cases, there could be problems proving the driver was under the influence. Police officers may find a driver after a collision and use circumstantial evidence to conclude the driver was under the influence at the time of the collision. There may be some cases where it is necessary for an expert witness to provide testimony regarding the driver’s BAC when the accident occurred.

    Individuals facing a DUI and/or hit and run charge should contact a knowledgeable DUI attorney with hit and run experience as soon as possible. Even individuals who were not arrested should still seek legal counsel following a hit and run accident. The best course of action an individual facing a DUI and/or hit and run charge can take is obtain guidance from a trusted Los Angeles attorney.

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