Misdemeanor Hit and Run
What counts as a violation of Vehicle Code § 20002?
Vehicle Code § 20002 requires that the driver of any vehicle involve in a traffic accident, resulting on only damage to property, must immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest safe location. It is not a violation to move a vehicle in order to reach a safe location that will not impede traffic or put other drivers at risk.
Vehicle Code § 2001 applies If the accident resulted in death or injury to another person.
Under Vehicle Code § 20002, the driver must also immediately do either of the following:
- Locate the owner (or person in charge) of the damaged property, and notify him or her of the driver’s and vehicle owner’s name and address and, if requested by that person, present his or her driver’s license and vehicle registration,
- Leave a written notice in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other property damaged giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the circumstances of the accident and notify the police department of the city wherein the collision occurred or California Highway Patrol.
What is the punishment for a violation of Vehicle Code § 20002?
Under Vehicle Code § 20002, any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
What defenses are available to Vehicle Code § 20002?
- You did not know that the accident resulted in property damage to another vehicle
- The accident only resulted in damage to your own property
- You were not driving