In Los Angeles, in order to be charged with a hit and run, the driver of the vehicle must have caused tangible damage to property or must have inflicted injury on a person, subsequently fleeing the scene without providing the pertinent information to the victim, or without administering first aid if necessary. One of the most common reasons that a person may flee the scene, thus creating a hit and run situation, is normally due to the fear of being charged with a DUI.
While a DUI and a hit and run are two separate charges, it is imperative to understand the facts regarding each. When dealing with a DUI and a hit and run, there are no factors or variables to be considered regarding one individual charge. What am I conveying? Take a look at the example below in order to gain a clearer understanding of the factors regarding DUI and hit and run.
Travis is traveling home from a birthday party that took place earlier amongst him and his friends. During the course of the party, he has imbibed in alcohol, consuming several beers and is no longer sober. In the morning he is scheduled to go to work and feels that although he has ingested a significant amount of alcohol, his best option is to return home immediately. It is late in the night, and there is inclement weather involving torrential rainfall. He is having difficulty seeing clearly due to the alcohol and adverse weather conditions. Due to the torrential downpours, Travis runs into a fence that is located on someone’s private property. Because of the impact on the fence caused, it breaks and falls inward. Travis decides to exit the car in order to inspect the damage on the fence. As Travis is inspecting the fence, he notices that the lights of the home connected to the fence come on. Travis is fearful that if the cops are called, they will administer a blood alcohol test upon seeing the damage to the fence, as well as his vehicle, resulting in a possible DUI charge. Immediately upon coming to this conclusion, Travis decides to reenter his vehicle, driving away as quickly as possible.
Let’s say that unbeknownst to Travis, there were a few witnesses on the scene of the accident, who have informed the police of Travis’s identity. On his drive home, the police located Travis and immediately pulled his vehicle over. Due to the nature of the incident, Travis is now facing two charges. The charges that Travis are facing are a DUI, due to the fact that he was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, as well as a Hit and Run charge due to the fact that he fled the scene of the accident without leaving the pertinent identification information for the victims of the crime.
Remember, these are two completely different charges that Travis is facing. Because Travis is facing two separate charges, there will be two separate cases, two separate arraignments, and two separate sentences if Travis is convicted on all counts. The situation regarding Travis is very serious, and if the damage is deemed to be significant enough, Travis could be facing felonies. It is imperative that Travis consults with a proper Los Angeles DUI attorney in order to gain a complete understanding of the defenses available to him, as well as the arguments that he can use. In this case, Travis would be best served to have a knowledgeable DUI lawyer at the helm who has substantial experience regarding this type of situation so that he will be able to make informed and educated decisions in regards to his case.
It will be very beneficial to the outcome of Travis’s case if he seeks the assistance of a Los Angeles lawyer who has adequate experience with both Hit and Run and DUI cases. Having an attorney with this level of experience in both areas will allow his team to take a strategic approach to tackling both cases in order to achieve the best possible result. The main goal of a quality lawyer is to get the charges either dismissed completely or at least, significantly reduced. If you are dealing with this type of situation, procrastination is the enemy, and it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.