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Blogs from June, 2016


Drivers in Long Beach are required to follow California state motor vehicle laws in order to earn and maintain a driver’s license – many of which dictate how a driver is to act in the event of a collision. Following a crash, drivers are required to render aid, exchange personal and insurance information with the other involved parties, and stay at the scene of the crash until a police officer clears them to leave. Failing to fulfill these duties or fleeing the scene of a collision is a criminal offense known as a “hit and run” and can carry serious penalties upon conviction.

Accidents Involving Injury

In California, hit and run situations involving crashes that resulted in injury to another party are known as “wobblers,” or an offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How a person is charged will mainly depend on the severity of injuries to the injured parties and a defendant’s criminal record. If charged as a misdemeanor, penalties can include up to one year in jail and fines up to $10,000. If charged as a felony, a conviction can carry up to three years in jail and fines up to $10,000.

Fatal Traffic Accidents

Like accidents involving injury, a hit and run that causes serious injury or death to another person can be charged as a wobbler, though the associated penalties are more severe. A misdemeanor hit and run involving serious injury or death can carry a minimum 90 day jail sentence extendable up to one year along with up to $10,000 in fines. A felony conviction, on the other hand, can bring up to four years in prison, fines up to $10,000, or both.

Any driver that is involved in a hit and run accident should hire a powerful criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to build a powerful defense and minimize their chances of conviction. At the Law Office of Leonard Matsuk, our Long Beach criminal defense attorney has successfully defended hundreds of clients over more than 30 years of legal practice and can provide the high-caliber defense you need to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation. To get started towards building your defense, schedule a free case evaluation or call (562) 375-4834 today.