There are two statute that govern sentencing deadlines for a Los Angeles Hit and Run. They are divided up by damage to property and injury to person.
California Vehicle Code §20002 addresses damage to property. The relevant portion regarding sentencing guidelines reads as follows:
“Any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine”
Many people are confused as to why there is a range. This is actually good thing for anyone being charged, it means there is room for negotiation and room for leeway. When there is a hit and run, and damage is to property, the charge will be a misdemeanor. The person may be sentenced with anywhere up to $1000 in fines, and up to six months in county jail, or both.
The reason there is a range is because not all cases are the same, and not all defendants appearing before the Judge have the same background. The facts of each case will differ, as will the criminal history of each person being charged.
Let’s consider and compare two difference scenarios.
Donald was driving home from work after having had several drinks. He has been convicted of a DUI approximately a year ago, but he believes he is fine to drink. He is not paying attention to the road and runs into a parked car. The parked car is totaled . Knowing he already has a criminal history, Donald takes off and drives straight home.
Dan is driving home from a dinner with a client. It is dark and he is extremely tired from having worked 15 hours that day. He inadvertently turns into a dead end street and proceeds to make a three point turn. In the process he knocks over a tree that is in the front yard of one of the houses. Dan has no prior criminal history.
Donald who has caused extensive damage, and has a significant criminal history is likely to see the higher end of the sentencing scale. Dan, on the other hand, only caused minimal damage to a plan, and has no criminal history. It is likely that Dan will merely pay a fine and be able to get away with no jail time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with Hit and Run for property damage, it is important to consult an experienced Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer. Because the sentencing outlined by the statute is upon the discretion of the court, some negotiation and experience can get your sentence reduced as much as possible. Do not wait, consult with a professional as soon as possible!