Santa Clarita Hit and Run Attorney, Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been involved in a hit and run collision you need quick answers to
your legal questions. The Santa Clarita District Attorney aggressively prosecutes all hit and run
charges brought by local law enforcement such as the CHP, Los Angeles County Sheriff Department
and the LAPD. The decisions you make immediately after leaving the scene of a car accident will
determine whether you will be charged and/or convicted of a serious crime. Having the assistance of
an experienced Local Criminal Defense Attorney in Santa Clarita will give you the advantage of
knowing what your legal rights are and what to say to law enforcement. The law on hit and run in
California is set forth in the Criminal Code as follows:
§ 20001. Duty to stop at scene of a car accident; Punishment for violations
(a) The driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to any person, other
than himself or herself, or in the death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of
the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who violates subdivision (a) shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a
fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or
by both that imprisonment and fine.
(2) If the car accident described in subdivision (a) results in death or permanent, serious injury, any
person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two,
three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, or by a fine
of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by
both that imprisonment and fine. However, the court, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated
in the record, may reduce or eliminate the minimum imprisonment required by this paragraph.
(3) In imposing the minimum fine required by this subdivision, the criminal court shall take into
consideration the defendant's ability to pay the fine and, in the interests of justice and for reasons
stated in the record, may reduce the amount of that minimum fine to less than the amount otherwise
required by this subdivision.
(c) A person who flees the scene of the crime after committing a violation of Section 191.5 of,
paragraph (1) or (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of, or subdivision (a) or (c) of Section 192.5 of,
the Penal Code, upon conviction of any of those sections, in addition and consecutive to the
punishment prescribed, shall be punished by an additional term of imprisonment of five years in the
state prison. This additional term shall not be imposed unless the allegation is charged in the
accusatory pleading and admitted by the defendant or found to be true by the trier of fact. The court
shall not strike a finding that brings a person within the provisions of this subdivision or an allegation
made pursuant to this subdivision.
(d) As used in this section, “permanent, serious injury” means the loss or permanent impairment of
function of any bodily member or organ.
This criminal statute applies to all accidents occurring in the Santa Clarita Valley.
§ 20002. Duty where property damaged, Hit and Run:
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property,
including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic
or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. Moving the vehicle in accordance with this
subdivision does not affect the question of fault. The driver shall also immediately do either of the
(1) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that property of the name and address of the
driver and owner of the vehicle involved and, upon locating the driver of any other vehicle involved or
the owner or person in charge of any damaged property, upon being requested, present his or her
driver's license, and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of
that property. The information presented shall include the current residence address of the driver and
of the registered owner. If the registered owner of an involved vehicle is present at the scene, he or
she shall also, upon request, present his or her driver's license information, if available, or other valid
identification to the other involved parties.
(2) Leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other property damaged a written notice giving
the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the
circumstances thereof and shall without unnecessary delay notify the police department of the city
wherein the collision occurred or, if the collision occurred in unincorporated territory, the local
headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or Santa Clarita Sheriff.
(b) Any person who parks a vehicle which, prior to the vehicle again being driven, becomes a
runaway vehicle and is involved in an accident resulting in damage to any property, attended or
unattended, shall comply with the requirements of this section relating to notification and reporting and
shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalties of this section for failure to comply with the
(c) 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
§ 20003. Duty upon injury or death, Hit and Run:
(a) The driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any
person shall also give his or her name, current residence address, the names and current residence
addresses of any occupant of the driver's vehicle injured in the accident, the registration number of the
vehicle he or she is driving, and the name and current residence address of the registered owner to the
person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and shall give the information to
any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any person
injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for
transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if
it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is requested by any injured person.
(b) Any driver or injured occupant of a driver's vehicle subject to the provisions of subdivision (a)
shall also, upon being requested, exhibit his or her driver's license, if available, or, in the case of an
injured occupant, any other available identification, to the person struck or to the driver or occupants
of any vehicle collided with, and to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident.
Our team of local Santa Clarita Hit and Run Criminal Defense Attorneys and consult with you
regarding your best legal options and rights following a hit and run arrest or investigation. We can
provide immediate information about your options. We aggressively defend all misdemeanor and
felony hit and run charges, filing a false police report, insurance fraud, fleeing the scene of an accident,
and all criminal violations.
Call us for a free consultation today at 1-877-281-5010, toll free.