Often times when a person has committed a Hit and Run, they are afraid of the consequences. They tend to panic and make irrational choices that can get them into additional trouble. One of the most common things a person does that gets them into unnecessary trouble is to file a false statement to their insurance company.
California Penal Code §550 makes it unlawful “to do any of the following, or to aid, abet, solicit, or conspire with any person to do any of the following: (1) Knowingly present or cause to be presented any false or fraudulent claim for the payment of a loss or injury, including payment of a loss or injury under a contract of insurance.”
In an effort to avoid a Hit and Run charge, many people will file false claims with their insurance companies stating that their car has been stolen. What they do not realize is that in an effort to try to avoid a Hit and Run charge, they may be facing additional charges for making fraudulent claims to an insurance company.
Let’s consider an example. Donny is driving home from a friend’s birthday party. It starts snowing heavily and he wants to immediately get home. In the snowstorm he ends up hitting the fence of a person’s residence, causing extensive damage. He was too worried about the consequences of a Hit and Run, so he immediately called his insurance company and informed them that his car had been stolen.
What Donny does not realize is that insurance companies do extensive investigations, and have their own investigation teams that will look into reports. They are aware of insurance fraud and will do their diligent research to determine whether a claim is fraudulent. If a claim is fraudulent, it is a criminal offense and can result in jail time among other consequences.
If a person who has made a false statement to an insurance company seeks the consultation of a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer, the consequences may be mitigated. An attorney has extensive experience in preparing a strong argument and applicable defenses for their client.
A legal professional will immediately contact the insurance company as well as Prosecutors and will work to cooperate with them and make amends. What many people don’t realize is that eventually if they are charged, they will be charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run and Insurance Fraud. They are two separate charges that will have two separate consequences, including jail time.
A person who is found guilty of insurance fraud, faces a felony. And if convicted, they can face imprisonment from two to five years, and/or a fine of up to $50,000.00, or double the amount of the fraud, whichever is higher.
If you find yourself in a situation where insurance fraud may be charged against you, do not take any chances. Consult with a Los Angeles Lawyer as soon as possible!