Hit and Run
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What are the hit and run penalties as well as any other consequences and possible legal defenses

20002 VC makes it a crime in California to flee from an accident that you were involved in without providing legally required information. Crimes of this nature are commonly referred to as a "hit and run" and are wobbler offenses that may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the damages of the accident. Read on to find out about possible legal defenses for charges of crimes under 20002 VC as well as possible penalties.


A hit and run under 20002 VC where there are no injuries or deaths resulting from the accident is considered a misdemeanor with the following penalties:

  • Fines of no more than $1,000 and/or
  • A jail sentence of 6 months, or
  • summary probation

In certain cases, especially where the defendant was not drunk at the time of the accident and is on his/her first offense, the charges may be dismissed under the PC 1377 civil compromise act if the defendant provided the victim with appropriate compensation.


Below are some of the more common legal defenses for charges under 20002 VC.

  1. You did not commit a hit and run (misidentification)
  2. You did not cause any property damage.
  3. You were unaware of the collision

1. Misidentification

Because hit and runs can often involve a lot of chaos and fast movements, it can be difficult or impossible to identify the correct culprit, especially when factoring in the flawed memory of pedestrians or other witnesses of the accident.

2. No property damage

Perhaps no property was damaged or only the defendant's vehicle was damaged. In this case, speeding off after an accident would not be considered a hit and run. However, any time one is in an accident, he/she/they should always stop to ensure no passengers were harmed or property were damaged.

3. No knowledge of a collision

It's common for minor scratches or scrapes to occur without the driver being aware. If he/she did not have knowledge that an accident had occurred, then this can be used as a legal defense against hit and run charges.


Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law group patiently await your call.

H Law Group Online

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