Leaving the Accident Scene: What You Should Know about Hit-and-Run Charges in Los Angeles County
An accident is not something you necessarily plan for; and when it does occur, there are sometimes mistakes that are made. Some of these mistakes are more costly than others. In fact, some of these mistakes can lead to criminal charges. If you did not stop at the scene of the collision, you could be charged with hit-and-run—that means you could be arrested. Actress Amanda Bynes can attest to the repercussions of hit-and-run charges.
The young actress has continued to find herself in trouble with law enforcement. In September 2012, two files of hit-and-run charges were filed against Bynes in California. She had also been charged with other offenses and eventually her driver’s license was suspended. How exactly her case will play out is still unclear, but her situation does illustrate the seriousness of hit-and-run allegations.
What Happens if I Did Not Stop at the Accident Scene?
There could have been a variety of reasons you did not stop at the accident scene, ranging from panic, to not knowing you caused a crash. Whatever the reason, you need to know about this offense. If you caused property damage in a crash and left the scene before providing your name, license number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and insurance information, you could be accused of hit-and-run. The offense may be classified as a misdemeanor. Things change significantly if injuries or death were involved.
If you left the scene of the accident or never stopped, and someone was injured or killed, your offense could be elevated to a felony. Felonies are far worse than misdemeanors and carry harsher penalties. You could be looking at significant fines, driver’s license suspension, and jail time. While a misdemeanor does come with penalties, they are not as severe as the ones just mentioned.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
You can and should contact an experienced attorney as soon as you are charged with hit-and-run in Los Angeles. Robert Ernenwein will be able to review the details of your case, including the evidence against you, to determine your defense. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to avoid this charge and stay out of jail.