Car accidents, especially serious ones can be catalysts for some basic human instincts: If we feel as if we've made a mistake, one of our first human impulses can be to flee the scene. If one flees the scene of an accident, it immediately triggers serious ramifications under California's hit and run laws.
Under Vehicle Code Section 20000-20018, whenever a driver is involved in an accident which results in injury to a person other than himself or herself, or death of another person, the driver shall immediately stop their vehicle at the scene, and provide the following information to the other drivers involved, and to the police who respond to the scene:
- Give his or her name, and current home address.
- Upon request, exhibit his or her driver's license.
- Provide the names and addresses of any occupants in the driver's vehicle injured in the accident.
- Provide the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving.
- If anyone is injured in the accident, render reasonable assistance, including transportation, or making arrangements for transportation to a doctor or hospital.
In the event that someone has died as a result of the accident, the driver of any vehicle involved after fulfilling the above requirements, shall without delay, report the accident to the nearest office of the Department of California Highway Patrol.
Penalties for Fleeing the Scene
If a driver is in an accident resulting in injuries to another person, and the driver fails to stop and fulfill the above requirements, the driver will be imprisoned for up to one year, or by a fine ranging between $1,000 and $10,000, or both.
If the accident resulted in serious, permanent injuries, or death, the driver faces between 90 days in jail and four years in prison, or a fine ranging between $1,000 and $10,000, or both.
A person who flees the scene of an accident after committing a violation of 191.5 (gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated), upon conviction may be punished by an additional term of imprisonment of five years in the state prison.
Contact Okabe & Haushalter today!
If you are facing hit and run charges, you are urged to contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Okabe & Haushalter as soon as possible. As the South Bay's premier criminal defense team, we have achieved notable distinctions including selection for inclusion in California's Super Lawyers®.
Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding your case!