DUI Hit and Run
Leaving the Scene of a DUI-Related Accident in Santa Ana
In incidents of DUI hit and run, there are two separate crimes that are at hand—the offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) and the offense of leaving the scene of an accident (or
hit and run). A person commits hit and run if he or she leaves the scene of an accident without first exchanging information with other party in the accident or providing aid to injured parties. In December 2012,
L.A. Weekly reported that in Los Angeles (which is about a half hour away from Santa Ana), 48% of auto accidents in 2009 fell under the category of hit and run accidents. This is a very high percentage considering that hit and run crashes only make up 11% nationwide.
Hit and run accidents can range from serious collisions to minor fender-benders. When the driver accused of fleeing the scene of an accident is also accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver is then at risk of harsher penalties. If you have been charged with DUI hit and run, our Santa Ana DUI lawyer at Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law can provide you with aggressive defense.
California Law Concerning Hit & Run
The offense of hit and run can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor if the accident involves property damage, and it is considered a felony if the accident involves injuries. According to California law (Vehicle Code §20001-20003), if you are in an accident, you are required to carry out the following actions:
- Stop your vehicle in the nearest safe location
- Locate the owner of the owner of the damaged property or the other party in the accident
- Exchange information with the other party (such as driver's license information, vehicle registration and insurance information)
- Provide information to any law enforcement officer at the scene of the accident
- Render aid to any injured parties (such as by transporting the accident victim to a hospital or calling for medical assistance)
Hit and run convictions can carry penalties that include jail time or prison time, as well expensive fines (up to $10,000). If the hit and run offense was connected to a DUI offense, the alleged offender can be facing hit and run penalties as well as DUI penalties.
Santa Ana DUI Attorney Defending Your Rights
A DUI conviction can already be threatening enough on its own. When the factor of a hit and run is added into the equation, the case only becomes more threatening. Drivers should not try to handle these complex cases on their own. If you are facing DUI hit and run charges, do not delay in consulting with our lawyer at Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law. Contact us today!