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Orange County Hit and Run Attorney

A Hit and Run is defined by California Vehicle Code section 20001 and California Vehicle Code section 20002 as failing to stop at the scene of an accident that you`re involved in and failing to exchange information with the other driver. To avoid being charged with a Hit and Run, the driver must give his name, address, driver`s license and vehicle registration to the other driver(s). If there were no other drivers, and the accident caused only property damage, then the driver must leave this information in a conspicuous place for the owner of the property AND contact the police. Normally, a Hit and Run is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the Hit and Run occurred after an accident with serious injury or death, then a felony Hit and Run can be charged.  With offices all over Southern California, Fred Thiagarajah has been very successful in defending Hit and Run cases, including getting the charges dismissed.

If the accident only caused property damage, then the Hit and Run will be charged as a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months jail. If accident causes injury or death, then the Hit and Run can be charged as a misdemeanor with maximum sentence of one year jail or as a felony with a maximum sentence of three years state prison (any injury) or four years state prison (permanent injury or death).   All Hit & Run convictions are two points on your DMV driving record.

Often times, people who commit Hit and Run will attempt to cover their tracks by calling the police and claiming that their car was stolen or that the other side hit their car and left the scene. Unfortunately, this is rarely successful because the police will catch a person in their lies. Furthermore, these actions are a separate crime under California Penal Code section 148.5, filing a false police report. This type of charge will make a Hit and Run case more serious.

If you were involved in a Hit and Run, it`s important not to make any statements to the police and to contact an experienced California Hit and Run criminal attorney such as Fred Thiagarajah.  In most Hit and Run cases, a witness sees a license plate and then reports the accident to the police. The police then track down the owner of the car and interrogate them about the Hit and Run. Any statements you make to the police will be used against you. If you don`t make any statements to the police, Fred Thiagarajah can make it more difficult for the District Attorney`s office to prosecute your case and in some instances, may even be able to get the case dismissed completely.

Other Consequences

Not only can a hit and run conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, licensing and immigration consequences.  Hit and run crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which are crimes that relate to a person’s honesty.  Having a hit and run conviction can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job.  Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks.  A professional who has a hit and run conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place.  Perhaps the most severe impact of a hit and run conviction involves immigration consequences.  Non-citizens who are permanent residents, with a green card, or temporary visitors, with a visa, can be denied admission or naturalization or even deported, with a hit and run conviction on their record.

The Right Lawyer

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing criminal hit and run charges.  Many people who face hit and run charges are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment.  There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of hit and run, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence.  You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively.  You need the Law Offices of Fred Thiagarajah.

As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah, and his team have the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for their clients, for criminal cases and immigration consequences.   Fred Thiagarajah and his team have helped clients with hit and run charges in the past.  For an example of their work, please see their case results and read their client testimonials.  With offices in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside, Fred Thiagarajah’s team has criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

Fred Thiagarajah – The Right Lawyer.  The Right Result. 

Make The Right Choice.


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