Articles Posted in Hit and Run

There are many different types of Hit and Run cases. Some involve injury, and some involve damage to property. Others involve just the driver of a vehicle, and some involve multiple passengers. Accordingly, there are many different ways to help mitigate a Hit and Run case, but one thing remains certain: the more immediately you take steps to mitigate your case, the higher probability you will have of it being reduced or dismissed.

The reason it is important to act immediately with a Hit and Run case is because certain actions can be taken prior to the Prosecutor’s even filing charges against you. If this can be completed successfully, then there is a chance that Prosecutor’s will not feel the need to file charges at all. Your case would then be dismissed.

A Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer would contact the person or persons, or property to which damage or injury was incurred. If damages are paid for, or injuries are paid for, to the satisfaction of the injured party, then Prosecutor’s may be more inclined to drop charges since amends have been made and the person being charged has been proactive.

Oftentimes in a Los Angeles Hit and Run there will be a person who has been negatively impacted by a person’s alleged actions. It may be someone that has been injured or that someone’s property has been injured. Either way, they may seek some restitution and for amends to be made.

It is extremely important that this alleged victim of a hit and run be addressed as soon as possible. A Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer has over thirty years of experience handling alleged victims, and addressing their concerns at the very beginning of a case. This helps mitigate possible consequences early on, and can even lead to dismissal. To understand how an attorney can help calm down an angry victim lets walk through an example.

Donnie is driving home from a work happy hour. He lives outside of the city and it is a particularly snowy day. The roads are slick and he cannot see too far ahead of him. As he is driving home at night, his car slides, and he hits a parked car in front of a house causing some damage to the rear bumper. Being that it is cold and late at night, Donnie decides to go home and address the owner the next day. Before Donnie can speak to the owner, officers are at his house charging him with a Hit and Run. Donnie immediately retained a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer.

There are two ways to be convicted of a criminal offense in Los Angeles. You are not automatically convicted when you are arrested or when you are charged. In order to be convicted, you must have entered a plea of guilty voluntarily before the Court, or have been found guilty by a jury or Judge in trial.

Once you have been convicted, the Court will issue a sentence that is appropriate with your offense. Most statutes that authorize the Court to charge you with a specific offense, will also specify a range of sentencing for that offense. There is a range because no two cases are the same, and each set of facts and each person’s background will yield a different sentence. This is beneficial to a person because that means there is a plenty of room for negotiation.

This is why a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney is of the highest benefit to a person who is facing criminal charges. An experienced attorney will know the Judges well, the courthouse procedures, as well as the prosecutors they are facing. They are able to articulate the best possible argument and defense to help fight the case. When it comes to sentencing, they are aware of what facts and evidence needs to be presented so that the final sentence falls at the lower end of the spectrum.

If you have been arrested for the suspicion of having committed a Hit and Run in Los Angeles, it is important to remember that you have not yet been convicted. In order to be convicted a plea must be entered by either you or finding must be made by a jury. During the period between charges being pressed against and a conviction actually being found, there is lots of room for negotiation and reduction of charges.

Certain actions you take during this period of time can help strengthen your case for dismissal or reduced charges, and certain actions you take can make the situation worse. That is why retaining a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer early on in the case is helpful. A legal expert will know exactly what steps to take and how to guide you so that you act only in a manner that increases your chances of dismissal and reduction.

One important aspect action that many of our clients take that can help make or break their case is in statements they give to police officers, their own insurance company, and the other party’s insurance company. These statements are extremely important and should be made carefully, after consulting with an attorney.

If you have been arrested for a Los Angeles Hit and Run it is highly advisable to seek the guidance and knowledge of an experienced Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer. Consulting a lawyer immediately can help minimize the potential consequences as much as possible.

When you are arrested for a Hit and Run, you have not yet been charged. There are many things you can do to avoid charges with the help of an attorney. If you have already been charged there are certain potential consequences you may face, many of which may be lessened with the help of an attorney.

  1. Jail Time

Generally, the nature of a Los Angeles Hit and Run is that the person who allegedly committed the crime is not at the scene. Officers have to piece together evidence from the scene and witnesses to find the alleged perpetrator of the Hit and Run. Oftentimes they can be wrong, and may suspect the wrong person. They will contact the person they believed to have committed the offense in several different ways.

  1. Phone call

The police department may contact you via telephone and request that you come down to the station to speak to them. Even if you are not the correct suspect, and have done nothing wrong, you should strongly consider having a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney with you when you go down to the station. It might be a misunderstanding, officers may believe you are a witness, or may have evidence that can be rebutted by your statement.  Regardless, it is important to have an attorney with you so that you do not make any incriminating statements. Any statements that you may make during your meeting with the officers, despite your good intentions, can still be used against you if the matter goes to Court.

If you have been charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run, it is a good idea to be proactive in getting those charges dismissed, or reduced, rather than being reactive.

What do I mean about being proactive versus reactive? People will often receive a letter or visit  from the police department stating that they would like to talk to the person regarding a possible Hit and Run. It is generally after the fact that officers may investigate a hit and run after it has been reported. Waiting until the point that officers contact you to respond to the allegations can possibly hurt you later in the case, if charges are filed. This is what I mean by being reactive. You are reacting to actions taken by the police department.

In contrast, being proactive means taking action before you are contacted by authorities. The  first and foremost step you must take in this situation is to contact and retain a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney. This lawyer has extensive experience with Hit and Run cases, and the courthouses and police departments in Los Angeles. The lawyer will immediately begin to take steps to work on your case with only one goal in mind; to get you case dismissed or in the very least, reduced. The following are strategic steps an attorney will take to achieve their goal.

If you believe you may be liable for a Hit and Run, or if you have received a notice from the Police Department requesting an interview with you about an alleged Hit and Run, the first thing you should do is contact a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer.

An experienced attorney has handled hundreds of Hit and Run cases in Los Angeles and knows the steps needed to be taken immediately to mitigate the consequences. There are also available defenses that could be strong arguments in your favor, if the case is prepared early on and as soon as possible.

According to California Vehicle Code §20002 if a drive of a vehicle is involved in an accident that results in injury or death, the driver of the vehicle must provide the following information to the person who is struck in the accident or any owner or occupants of a vehicle that was struck as well as a traffic officer present at the scene:

After an alleged Los Angeles Hit and Run, officers may contact you, or you may contact them . They may ask you to give a statement, but that could be used against you to file charges. Many of our clients contact us to determine whether they will be arrested, and to get more information.

If you have fled the scene of an alleged Hit and Run, you will likely have no information  as to whether there was even injury, and if there was the extent of it, or if there was damage to property. You would not know how many people were involved or the cost of damage. This is why a Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney is useful.

An attorney can call the police department on your behalf. This ensures that you don’t make any statements on your own that could be held against you, or that may provide possible evidence against you for a Hit and Run.

Many of our clients mistakenly believe that when they have been arrested they have also been charged. This is not the case. If you have been arrested for a Los Angeles criminal offense, you have not been charged. The common belief is that the arresting officers are the ones that charge you with a criminal offense, but it is actually the prosecutor that makes charges.

When you are arrested, it is only on the basis that there is probable cause that you have committed a criminal offense. The officers will give you a Notice to Appear at the time of your arrest. This Notice to Appear will have a date and a courthouse at which you will be required to appear. This appearance is mandatory, not voluntary so you must be present. If you hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, the attorney may appear for you in most cases.  In that case, you will not have to be present in Court.

Being issued a Notice to Appear that requires you to appear in Court also does not mean you have been charged. Many times we appear in Court on the Notice to Appear date and no charges have been filed. This does not necessarily mean that the case has been dismissed, charges may be filed later.