Hit and Run Laws and Charges in California
Leaving the scene of an accident is considered hit and run in California. This accident can involve another car, an unattended vehicle, another person, a pedestrian, an animal, any private or governmental property, such as a mail box or parking meter, and so on. Even if you were not at fault, leaving the scene of accident without providing necessary information to the other parties, or providing help to the injured in case of an injury, is considered hit and run.
As stated in California laws, charges for hit and run can be either misdemeanor or felony. Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage is considered misdemeanors. For California hit and run misdemeanor there will be points on the driving record and fines to pay. It may sometimes even involve jail time. You should also reimburse the other party for all the damages occurred.
If the accident results in bodily injury or death, then leaving the scene is a California hit and run felony. It is also considered a felony if you don't help the injured or if you don't call the police immediately, even if you were not at fault. Hit and run felony or misdemeanor charges have severe consequences. You can be fined anywhere from $1000 to $10000 and go to jail. Points will be added to your driving record and your California driver's license will be suspended. You may also lose your insurance coverage. The amounts of fine and jail time generally depend on the severity of the injury, your cooperation with the police and your criminal history.
You will be charged with vehicular manslaughter or homicide if you leave the scene of accident and the victim dies. If an animal dies during the hit and run you will be charged with animal abuse.
If you can't find the owner of the damaged vehicle or property, you should leave them a note with your name, number and other necessary information. You should also file a report at the local police station. If the car you were driving didn't belong to you, it is advisable to provide the information of the owner as well.
Hit and Run for Commercial Drivers
Blood alcohol concentration limit for commercial drivers in California is 0.4 percent. With more than that, CDL holders have committed a DUI offense and have endangered their commercial license and probably their job.
DWI offense will carry almost the same consequences for commercial and non-commercial drivers; license suspension, heavy fines and jail time. But CDL holders have to face more problems. They will probably have their commercial license revoked for 1 year for the first conviction (even if they were driving their personal vehicle at the time of offense) and have to attend alcohol assessment classes. They will face higher insurance rates and will probably have to choose another line of work as their license is suspended. Consult with a traffic lawyer at our office to get help with your case and get your life back on track.
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