Torrance Hit And Run Defense Lawyers | South Bay Criminal Defense
If you have been cited or received a letter from the Torrance police department in connection with a Hit and Run charge, it is best that educate yourself on what to expect next by contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer with expertise in defending Hit and Run in Torrance. Do not make the mistake of speaking with the police or even insurance companies before consulting with legal counsel. The statements you make early on in your case can influence the outcome, as well as whether Hit and Run charges are filed at all. It is important to note police must be able to positively identify you as the driver to make the Hit and Run case against you. Therefore, your incriminating statements or admission of guilt, in the beginning, could be extremely damaging to your defense.
South Bay criminal defense lawyers Eugene Hanrahan and Stephen Sitkoff have successfully defended Torrance Hit and Run charges since 1987. Drawing on their combined 70 plus years of criminal defense experience as former Torrance Court prosecutors, both Mr. Hanrahan and Mr. Sitkoff have obtained countless dismissals and criminal charge reductions for South Bay clients faced with Hit and Run charges. Contact our South Bay criminal defense firm now at (424) 757-0865 for a free no-obligation case evaluation to learn what your defense options are and how we can help you avoid a Hit and Run on your record.
Torrance Misdemeanor Hit And Run | California Vehicle Code 20002
The traffic crime of Hit and Run can be prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of your case, such as whether there were injuries sustained by another. The majority of Hit and Run charges in Torrance are charged as misdemeanors as most offenses involve only property damage and no injuries. Prosecuted under California Vehicle Code 20002(a),
A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only property damage shall immediately stop at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.
The punishment for a Torrance misdemeanor Hit and Run include, up to 6 months in Los Angeles County Jail, up to a $1,000 fine, summary probation, and community labor/service. Furthermore, Hit and Run is a traffic misdemeanor and, therefore, carries 2 DMV points.
Torrance Felony Hit And Run | California Vehicle Code 20001
Although a 1st offense misdemeanor Hit and Run charge out of Torrance Court rarely results in jail time, a felony Hit and Run involving injury, even as a first offense, is punished more harshly. Hit and Run involving injury is considered a “wobbler” offense in California, allowing prosecutors to charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or felony. The more serious the injuries, the more likely you would face felony charges. Defined under California Vehicle Code 20001(a):
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident
resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in
the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the
scene of the accident
The punishment for a Hit and Run involving injury can result in up to 1 year in California State Prison or LA County Jail, up to a $10,000 fine, formal probation, and community labor/service. Your punishment would be further enhanced if aggravating circumstances exist, such as causing serious or permanent injury, or death. The sentencing enhancement would increase your imprisonment exposure to up to 4 years in prison with a 90-day mandatory jail sentence. Furthermore, felony Hit and Run causing death in connection with Vehicular Manslaughter with Impairment under VC 191.5 carries an enhancement which adds 5 years to your prison sentence.
Hit And Run Prefile Investigations
In our 3 decades of defending both misdemeanor and felony Hit and Run charges in Torrance, we have encountered virtually every possible scenario involving VC 20002 and VC 20001 charges. In the majority of our cases, our clients have initially contacted our office after receiving either a phone call or letter from a Torrance police detective requesting an interview. This initial contact triggers the first stage of the criminal process referred to as the “prefile investigation.” During this stage of your case, a detective will attempt to capture a statement from you to secure incriminating statements or your outright confession. In addition, he or she will actively seek out witnesses who can identify you as the driver.
If you are contacted by a detective conducting a Hit & Run prefile investigation, you are NOT required nor obligated to answer any questions. Feeling conflicted about your decision to remain silent out of fear of looking “guiltier” is natural and common. However, it is more critical that preserve your Hit and Run attorney’s ability to defend you by respectfully declining to answer any questions without legal counsel present.
Our Torrance Hit And Run Defense Approach
The question of whether you can be identified as the Hit and Run driver will be central to the prosecutions’ case against you, which is why you should not make statements to police. Proactive clients who retain our defense firm, even prior to receiving police contact, receive the peace of mind in knowing we will be prepared to respond on our clients’ behalf to the imminent inquiries from both Torrance police and insurance companies, thereby preserving their chances of receiving prefile resolutions to prevent criminal charges from being filed. One such resolution is a dismissal by way of Civil Compromise under California Penal Code section 1377-1379.
Contact Our Torrance Hit And Run Lawyers Now
Being arrested or investigated for any crime is uncharted territory for most. As a client of our South Bay criminal defense firm, you can rest assured you will receive the detailed and personal attention required to achieve the best possible result. Most importantly, you will be represented by the most experienced Hit and Run defense attorneys in the South Bay. Drawing on their 70 plus years of combined criminal law experience, Mr. Hanrahan and Mr. Sitkoff personally handles each of our firm’s cases, and both are committed to securing only the best outcomes. Contact us 24/7 online or call us now at (424) 757-0865 for a free case analysis. Since 1987, our South Bay criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended misdemeanor and felony crimes originating out of the following South Bay cities: