The Hit and Run that Prompted Change
There is perhaps no more devastating traffic violation, for both sides,
than the hit and run. In fact, it was the hit and run killing in August
of 2013 on Ventura Boulevard that changed how the state will conduct the
business of registering and plating cars sold. Well, to be more precise,
it was the people’s reaction to what happened that prompted state
legislators to act.
Within days of the hit and run petitions to change the system started circulating
on the internet and on the streets of Los Angeles, which eventually led
to Assembly Bill 516 (AB 516) that mandates all new and used vehicles sold in CA to have a temporary
license plate emplaced by the dealer that matches the number and information
on the buyer given to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The hit and run accident was witnessed by seven people, who saw the new
white Mercedes strike the victim and drag him for about 100 feet down
Ventura Boulevard. However, since the vehicle had only a paper dealer’s
advertisement where a temporary license plate should have been, the police
were unable to track the vehicle’s owner and/or the driver. To this
day, the killer remains at large. And though, this action will not bring
the victim back, it will make it easier to track guilty parties and bring
them to justice.
AB 516 was signed into law on 25 July 2016.
Hit and Run Consequences
For those of you unfamiliar with the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) that covers
hit and run, there are two types of violations.
first is CVC
20002 (a), which makes it a misdemeanor crime to leave the scene of an accident
where there was property damage but no injury without providing the other
driver or property owner involved the required information, such as name,
address, and driver’s license, plus the same information on the
owner of the vehicle if it is different than the driver.
When the property or vehicle owner cannot be located within a reasonable
amount of time, the driver will leave the information in a conspicuous
place, such as the windshield of the vehicle or in a mailbox on the property
damaged and notify the police in the municipality where the accident occurred.
There is no dollar value applied to this crime and the amount of damage
is not relevant in the prosecution of an offender. Violators of this statute
who are convicted are subject to a maximum $1000 fine, before state and
county surcharges, fees, and assessments and/or imprisonment up to six
months in the county jail. In addition, the driver will likely be ordered
to make restitution to the owner of the damaged property.
second type of hit and run violation is CVC
20001 (a), which makes it a felony to leave the scene of an accident where there
was an injury or injuries. In prosecuting this felony charge, it is irrelevant
whether the driver was at-fault or if he or she were aware of the injuries.
The heinousness of the crime is the fleeing from the scene without any
thought of rendering assistance to those injured or calling 911.
A conviction of this felony criminal charge can be punished by not less
than one-year in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, plus the court has the
latitude to order compensation and restitution.
When the victim agrees that they have been adequately compensated for their
injuries or damages the District Attorney and the judge have an ability
to reduce or dismiss the charges. Whereas it could be considered witness
tampering if you contacted the victim, a traffic ticket attorney with
courtroom experience would know about this provision in the law and could
speak with the victim on our behalf. Therefore, it would be prudent to
contact an attorney as soon as possible after being charged.
Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Central Valley
In Central Valley, CA you have access to one the state’s most experienced
traffic court law firms, Bigger & Harman, who represent their clients
in traffic court on a near daily basis. Therefore, they know the CVC and
the idiosyncrasies of traffic law.
For more than a decade, Bigger & Harman have been representing their
clients in Central Valley traffic courts in Kings, Kern, Mono, Fresno,
and others, as well as some SoCal counties such as San Bernardino, Riverside,
and LA. This team of professional ticket lawyers has assisted more than
2000 drivers with monetary savings due to reduced charges, dismissals,
and probation rather than jail. Although probation may not seem like a
good thing, when you are facing jail time due to a misdemeanor or felony
hit and run, it may be the only reasonable choice you have.
Bigger & Harman are hands down the best possible choice to represent
you in traffic court. Call 661-349-9300 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.