Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


I just received a letter from the LAPD asking me to call a detective about a hit and run accident I was involved in. What should I do?

Posted on: July 1, 2007 at 6:21 p.m.

The criminal offense commonly known as Hit and Run is a violation of the Vehicle Code, which requires all drivers involved in a car accident to stop, and exchange information. If there are injuries, the offense may be prosecuted as a felony, as the law considers leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid to an injured party as felonious conduct (which carries a maximim of a year in the county jail, or three years in prison). Often, LAPD or other investigating agencies will send a letter to the driver that left the scene of the accident, or the vehicle's owner, asking them to contact a detective. This is when a lawyer could be of great help! By speaking to the police, without an attorney, you may be incriminating yourself. Many feel they can talk their way out of it: "I stopped, but then left because there was no damage" or "the other party said it is no big deal and we dont need to exchange information." The frequent outcome of legal self-help is charges being filed. The next letter the person gets is: "you are now required to be in court to answer criminal charges." If a criminal defense lawyer is hired before a detective investigates the case, he or she may prevent charges from being filed, simply because the police may have insufficient evidence to prove the suspect is the driver without the suspect's statement. The Criminal Law Blog's defense attorneys have prevented charges from being filed, or, if they are filed, they have caused them to be dismissed through appropriate provisions in the Penal Code.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, faq

Comments:

Law Blog on July 10, 2007 at 9 a.m. wrote:

The Law Blog frequently utilizes the assitance of insurance companies to ensure that restitution is paid to the complaining party (assuming Defendant was insured at time of alleged hit and run). Once the alleged victim is made whole, courtroom advocacy and negotiation using civil compromise rules frequently leads to a complete dismissal of misdemeanor hit and run charges.









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