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In our ongoing series of posts, we’ve hopefully shown you that while California’s penal code can at best be complicated and at worst be pretty convoluted, it doesn’t always have to be that way. In fact, if you take the time to break down the letter of the law into meaningful chunks and scale the mountain of legalese to figure out just what the lingo is actually saying, you can get a good sense for California’s laws and, as a result, mount a pretty compelling legal defense against them. Wit that said, today we’re going to look at some definitions, punishments, and legal defenses involved in California’s charge of misdemeanor hit & run (property damage). So let’s get started with some pertinent definitions, shall we?
Definitions of Misdemeanor Hit & Run (Property Damage)
It’s important to know, first of all, that you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony when it comes to hit and run in the state of California. But as the title of this article implies, we’re dealing with the misdemeanor version here, so let’s look at the terms for that. You can be charged with this crime if you leave the scene of an accident without first identifying either yourself or someone else that you’re with, and that someone else’s property was damaged in the process. The difference between misdemeanor hit and run and felony hit and run lies in what gets hit. If there’s just property damage, then it’s a misdemeanor hit and run charge. If there’s an actual person who gets injured, then it gets bumped up into felony status. Now while misdemeanors aren’t nearly as serious of offenses as felonies, there are still some serious consequences to be dealt with should you be convicted of misdemeanor hit & run (property damage). Let’s take a second and figure out just what those consequences are.
Punishments for Misdemeanor Hit & Run (Property Damage)
Now, like we talked about before, while this is a misdemeanor charge, it does in fact carry some pretty steep consequences. If you’re convicted of misdemeanor hit & run (property damage), you’ll end up having to pay a fine of up to $1,000, and you could end up spending as much as six months in county jail. While this doesn’t seem insanely steep of a consequence, that’s still a major hit to your wallet, and six months of your life that you’ll never be able to get back again. So with that being said, let’s look at some legal defenses you can take advantage of.
Legal Defenses for Misdemeanor Hit & Run (Property Damage)
There are a few claims that you can make in order to get your charges either dismissed or reduced. Among them, these include claiming that only your own car was damaged, saying that you didn’t know you were in an accident or that someone else’s property was damaged, or that it was actually someone else who was involved in the accident. If you use any of these claims in court, you have a much greater chance of getting your charges dropped, or at least reduced.
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So as you can see, the law isn’t that complicated when you break it down and explain it using common, everyday language instead of obtuse legalese. So keep that in mind the next time you have any sort of legal trouble. While the process can be scary, we’ll always be in your corner, making sure that you’re well taken care of.