Hit and run cases are serious. They are misdemeanors if there is property damage only and a felony if there is any injury to another person. Police officers often suspect hit and run drivers were DUI drivers that fled the scene to avoid being arrested for DUI and they try to locate them as soon as possible while alcohol or drugs may still be in their system.
There are defenses to "hit and run". They include not hitting and not running. You have a duty to exchange information in any property damage accident where someone else's property was damaged regardless who is at fault. If there was no damge, other than to your vehicle, then there is no obligation to exchange information. The problem arises if there is damage to property but you do not how to give the information to the owner like when you run off the road and destroy signs, or landscaping. You can report it to law enforcement, leave a note and contact the agency or property owner. This scenario is often seen when traffic signs or road barriers are damaged.
A DUI with a "hit and run" charge in Vista is serious. There are a number of issues to be addressed that depend on the evidence against you for each charge. The DUI requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time you were driving you were under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug , or .08 blood alcohol level or more. Drinking after driving can be a defense because it becomes impossible to show what your blood alcohol level was at the time of driving. However, if you were stopped while driving and over a .08 or under the influence, it does not matter whether you drank after the hit and run. Any DUI within 10 years of a prior, offense date to offense date, is a second offense for purposes of sentencing and carries significantly greater penalties than a first offense.
Vista Hit and run charges stemming from an accident in Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido or anywhere in North County are serious. If there is property damage only, it is a misdemeanor offense which still carries possible local jail time, fines, and possible restitution. Additionally, you can lose your license and have your vehicle impounded. Many times people are involved in an accident and flee because they have been drinking and they do not want a DUI. This is a misdemeanor if there was property damage only. A felony Hit and Run involves an accident where another person is injured. It does not matter whether you are at fault in the accident, it is illegal to flee the scene without exchanging information or rendering reasonable assistance.
Regardless whether you are at fault, leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging information is commonly called "hit-and-run" and is a serious offense in Vista and North San Diego County. If there is property damage only, it is a misdemeanor which still can result in custody. With an injury involved, "hit and run" becomes a felony with possible local jail or prison. Every case involves a variety of factors which can mitigate the offense and help us try to get the charges dismissed, reduced or sentences minimized. At the Christoph Law Offices, we have been defending those accused of hit-and-run for over 30 years. The initial consultation is free, so call us at 760-659-2149 so that we can discuss what happened, and what we can do to get the best outcome in your case.