If you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are in an accident in the State of California, and then leave the scene of the accident, you will likely face serious penalties. You will face a driving while intoxicated (DUI) charge as well as a hit-and-run charge. When the two charges of a California DUI and a California hit and run are faced at the same time, the penalties are extremely severe.
Penalties for a DUI and Hit-and-Run
If you are in a car accident and receive both charges of a DUI and a hit-and-run, you will likely face serious consequences. The following are the penalties for both felony and misdemeanor charges following a DUI plus a hit-and-run.
Felony DUI Plus Hit-and-Run
If your accident involved any kind of personal injury or death, the penalties will include:
- Fines – $1,000 to $10,000
- State Prison – 2-4 years if the car accident resulted in a death or serious injury to another person
- County Jail – Up to one year if the accident causes a minor injury to another person
Misdemeanor DUI Plus Hit-and-Run
If your accident involved no injuries to other people but did involve property damage, the penalties will include the following:
- Fines – Up to $1,000
- County Jail – Up to 6 months
Defenses Against DUI and Hit-and-Run in California
If you were a driver involved in an accident and are now facing charges of both DUI or hit-and- run, you still have legal options available to you. A prosecutor must always prove their case and you may have a valid reason that you should not receive either charge.
For example, you may have not realized that you were involved in an accident, and therefore did not know that you were leaving the scene of an accident. In another case, if the other driver acted aggressively or violently towards you, you may have felt obligated to leave the scene of the accident for your own safety. In another case, you may have been the only one injured, in which case you would only be charged with a misdemeanor and not a felony.
Other defenses exist as well if you have been charged with a DUI and hit-and-run in the State of California. Visiting with an experienced defense attorney can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and help you determine the best legal strategy for your specific situation.
Contact an Experienced Defense Attorney
If you are facing a DUI and a hit-and-run charge together, you are likely scared and overwhelmed. In some cases, you may be facing reckless driving or vehicular homicide charges as well. Contact our experienced defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann at 714-294-0568 or online today for your free consultation, and to help you determine which defense strategy will work best for your legal defense.