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Hit and Run Death

Felony Hit and Run in California - Vehicle Code 20001 VC

Having done this for twenty-five years, I'm seeing more and more people becoming involved in accidents where a death occurs, and then they drive away, and the police have to catch them later. The police either do this by way of some video at the scene of the accident or an eyewitness who gets the person's license plate.

There's a variety of different methods they can use to track down a hit-and-run driver who ends up killing somebody on the Los Angeles streets. Sometimes, these investigations take a while. I see them seizing people's cars so they can find DNA evidence on the vehicle.

I see them going to businesses near where the accident occurred so they can see what the vehicle that was involved in the accident looked like. There's a whole bunch of investigation techniques that are utilized by law enforcement to catch people who become involved in the hit and run accidents where a death occurs.

They also get accident reconstruction people to the scene to determine precisely what happened and why. When they catch the person who hit another vehicle and drove away, that person will be charged with felony hit and run. Unique enhancements can apply depending on the circumstances that can cause the person to be sent to prison for a very long time.

Use of an Accident Reconstruction Expert

I've done many of these hit-and-run related death cases, and it's imperative a lot of times that we get a good accident reconstruction person if there's any question as to how and why the accident ended up occurring. What's such a shame about it is that I see that the person wasn't doing anything wrong in many of these accidents. All they had to do was stop and render aid to the person that they hit, or the person maybe ran a red light or made an illegal term and would not have been charged with a felony resulting in death where they're looking at prison time, probably would have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Still, running away increases the crime and the potential punishment, and the person puts himself in a terrible situation.

That's where a reasonable criminal defense attorney can help you to show the prosecutors – say, wait a minute, here's what happened, here's why it happened. There's often an argument that the accident isn't even the person's fault who ran away. I've had dart-out cases where people are jumping out in the middle of the street at night, and a person doesn't even see him or someone riding their bicycle illegally in a position where the driver couldn't see them.

Unfortunately, an accident occurs, and a death occurs, but the critical thing is the other person has to stop and try to help the person that they ran over. If you keep going, that's where the problems develop, and that's when you're going to need an excellent criminal defense attorney to explain what happened to the prosecutors and work on trying to get a result that you can live with that takes into account you, your family, your reputation, your record, your freedom, your driving ability. All sorts of different things are on the line when it comes to a hit-and-run that results in death.

Defenses To A Hit And Run Resulting In A Death

One defense is that you did not know that you hit another vehicle or person, so you left the accident scene. One big thing I've seen is if somebody allegedly causes an accident but is not involved with any impact.

So, let's say they cut somebody off or do something that causes another person to lose control of their car and crash. The prosecutors are charging those as hit and run as well. Still, they will have to prove that the person, number one, caused the accident versus the other person just getting involved because of their negligence. The second thing they have to prove is that the person knew or reasonably should have known based on the circumstances in which they caused an accident.

Therefore, they had a duty to stop and render aid, figure out what happened, give their information, etc. In these hit-and-run accidents, you must provide the other person with your information if you get involved in an accident and there's some property damage. If you hurt somebody, then you should help them. You should call 9-1-1 and get out of your vehicle. You have to give them your insurance information, name, and contact number so they can get their car fixed. If you don't do that, it's going to be a hit and run, and if a severe injury or a death results, it's going to be charged with a felony, and you're going to be looking at prison time.

Reasonable Belief Defense in Hit and Run Cases

So, the best defense I've seen is that you didn't know there was an accident or that you hit somebody because of the circumstances. Therefore, you're not responsible for a hit and run because you have to know or reasonably know. That's something you discuss with your attorney. You go over everything. I have people come into my office, sit down, and discuss it.

It's all protected by privacy and the attorney-client privilege. Once we discuss everything, then we start to formulate a game plan to defend this severe hit-and-run death-related incident. Another thing I'm going to need is the other pieces of the puzzle. I need to see the police report. I need to see what witnesses saw what. What the damage is. A lot of time, again, an accident reconstruction expert.

The police will get somebody out there. Sometimes, their experts aren't that good, but they'll at least make some guesses. Some opinions about what they think happened, and then you have a foundation and a basis to hire your experts so that person can use whatever the police did. They do their independent investigation to find out exactly what happened and see if any defenses may apply to this serious hit-and-run-related death incident where you're being charged with serious crimes, and you need to defend yourself.

Next Step in Your Hit and Run Defense

So, suppose you're charged with a hit and run where a death occurred, and there's a bunch of enhancements and high bail, or you have a loved one that's been charged with a hit and run a related offense where a death occurred. In that case, you must get to an attorney who has been down this road before, has done these cases early, is local to the jurisdiction where the case is pending, knows how the prosecutors handle these cases and knows the judge's tendencies and knows what it takes to defend the case, knows the strategy that's best for your loved one or you so that you don't end up with a lengthy prison sentence. You can do some damage control and protect your rights and interests.

A free initial consultation is your next best step for more information on Run Related Deaths In Los Angeles. You can get the information and legal answers you're looking for by calling (213) 542-0979 today.

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