Every crime in California is defined by a specific code section. Our attorneys explain the law, penalties and best defense strategies for every major crime in California.
Hit and run can be charged as either a California misdemeanor or a felony depending on:
Vehicle Code 20002 VC is the California statute that defines the crime of misdemeanor hit and run. This section makes it a crime for a person to:
A violation of this statute is charged as a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months.
Vehicle Code 20001 VC is the California statute that defines the crime of felony hit and run. This section makes it a crime for a person to:
A violation of this code section is a wobbler offense, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction is punishable by up to four years in state prison.
Per VC 20002, a prosecutor must prove four things in order to successfully convict a person of misdemeanor hit and run. These are:
Someone commits an act “willfully” when he does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.
Note that in providing identifying information, an accused must have provided enough information so that the owner of the damaged property understood that the accused was driving the vehicle
A violation of this code section is always charged as a misdemeanor.
The crime is punishable by:
Per VC 20001, a prosecutor must prove four things in order to successfully convict a person of felony hit and run. These are:
(a) to immediately stop at the scene of the accident,
(b) to provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, and/or
(c) to give to the person injured, or any police officer at the scene of the accident, his personal information (e.g., name and current address).
Someone commits an act “willfully” when he does it willingly or on purpose.
A violation of this statute is a wobbler. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on:
Note that the prosecutor has the two different options in charging this offense even though it is referred to as “felony” hit and run.
If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by:
If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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