DUI Hit and Run
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 20001(a), a driver involved in an accident that causes physical injury or death to another person must immediately stop and provide driver’s license and insurance coverage information - regardless of fault. Failure to do so may result in a sentence of up to three years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000. This crime, however, is a wobbler offense, meaning that depending on the driver’s record and the seriousness of the injury, the crime may be charged as either a misdemeanor offense or a felony. As a misdemeanor, the conviction carries with it up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. If the accident results in death or permanent, serious physical injury, it is a felony and the sentence range is typically two, three or four years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Vehicle Code section 20002 (a), on the other hand, details requirements involved in an accident causing property damage alone. This section states that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident causing only damage to property shall immediately stop the vehicle in the nearest area that will not impede traffic and locate the owner of the property damaged. Upon request, the driver must provide driver’s license and insurance coverage information. In the alternative, the driver may also leave, in a conspicuous place, on the damaged property, a note detailing the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle and a brief description of the cause of the damage. The driver must also notify law enforcement within a reasonable time. Failure to comply with this section is a misdemeanor offense, carrying with it up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
If you are driving under the influence and hit and run, then you may be charged with multiple offenses, depending on the severity of the damage caused. First, there is the DUI offense itself, which may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on whether or not you suffered any prior DUI convictions and whether or not you caused any physical injury. Second, the hit and run severity will depend on whether or not you caused any physical injury or death, or merely caused property damage. This will be charged pursuant to either Vehicle Code section 20001(a) or 20002(a) discussed above.
If, however, you are DUI and kill someone, you may be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter pursuant to Vehicle Code section 191.5(a) or even second degree murder if you suffered a prior DUI conviction. Gross vehicular manslaughter is a serious felony offense and has a sentence range of four, six or ten years in state prison. Second degree murder, on the other hand, is an indeterminate term of 15 years to life in prison.
Allow our experienced hit and run lawyers to review your case and ensure your rights are protected. We have had second degree murder charges reduced to manslaughters, taking the case from life in prison to probation. Call Temecula DUI attorney Parwana Anwar today.