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How Bad Is A Hit And Run Misdemeanor? California Law Explained For You!

Posted by Mark A. Velez | Aug 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

How Bad Is A Hit And Run Misdemeanor? California Law Explained For You!

How bad is a hit and run misdemeanor? Hit and runs are an inevitable nuisance in urban life. We all find ourselves in a situation where we accidentally hit a car, and the owner is not around.

How do you manage that scenario of hit and run in California for parked cars and develop a friendly, safe way to emerge from the situation? Here is all you need to know about the legality of the hit and run charges and how you can manage it to the best capacity following the California Vehicle Code.

How bad is a hit and run misdemeanor? Driving Away:

First, it is illegal to drive away if you hit a car without providing your insurance detail and identifying yourself to the driver of the crashed vehicle. If you drive away from penalty for hit and run of a parked car and they define you as the hitter, you will be charged with a felony!

California Vehicle Code 20002:

The vehicle code mainly focuses on issues related to the parking lot. Commonly, individuals hit other cars while trying to park or reverse out their vehicles. Unless you are sure that you will get away without any witnesses, avoid leaving without identifying yourself.

Most parking lots have cameras for precisely the same reason; in case you are considering hit and run, make sure no surveillance tape is bearing witness.


Standard hit and run charges when you do not leave your identification information, count mainly as a misdemeanor. The longest sentence for the crime is six months in county jail and a fine that can be a thousand dollars maximum. It is one of the minor penalties in the judicial system.

Requirements For Charges Of Guilt:

There are a few elements of the crime when you are answering the question ‘how bad is a hit and run misdemeanor?'. These elements are as follows:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident without providing your identification information.
  • Failure to provide identification to the hitter.
  • Damaging another person's property, a car, fence, or any other property.

These are the main charges in a hit and run in California for parked car misdemeanors.

Elements Of Prosecution:

When the prosecutor is making their case against the defendants, they will focus on the following features to prove the defendant's guilt.

The Proof of Presence: The prosecutor has to prove that the defendant was present at the scene of the crime when the crime occurred to prove the hit and run charges. Most prosecutors look for car GPS tracks and the nearest CCTV cameras to prove the fact.

The defendant caused the damage to the property: Now the defense team can prove that the property was damaged before the defendant's presence.

Plausible Deniability: The prosecutor also has to prove that the defendant in a penalty for hit and run of a parked car was aware of the damage he/she causes in the situation. The defense can make a case that the defendant caused damage without any intention.

Failure to Provide Identification: If the prosecutor can prove that the defendant did not stop at the scene of the crime, the prosecutor has shown that they have not provided identification. Most cases, defendants claim they wrote a note and left on the windshield of the car that was hit.

What Should You Do

How bad is a hit and run misdemeanor? Now that we have decided on the legality of hitting a parked car, let's discuss how you should handle such instances:

  1. Find A Witness: Anyone close by is a good enough witness but try to find a witness. Ensure that the witness corroborates your version of the extent of the damage, time frame of a hit, and other similar issues.
  2. Find the Owner: If you can find the owner, try to find them. Agreeing with them about how to fix their car is the easiest way to solve the problem.
  3. Take a Picture of Leaving a Note: It is excellent to take a picture of leaving the note so that the owner cannot state that you never left a note.
  4. Take Pictures: Pictures are essential, find a way to time stamp the images as there is a common culture in the courthouses to question the timeline of the taken pictures.
  5. CCTV Cameras: Not every hitter has to be scared of the CCTV nearby. You can always go there and get the feed yourself.

These are a few solutions to tackle the penalty for hit and run of a parked car that come to our mind. But if you have car insurance, then there is no need to speed away. Simple mediation is as good a solution as any. Ensure that you do it right in the first few hours and worry no more about the following procedure.

MAV Law Corp is an expert firm in Torrance, California. We will provide professional solutions to your typical law-related troubles to solve your law-related issues in the budget. We believe in arbitration and mediation to have an economical and beneficial solution for our clients. Give us a call now!

About the Author

Mark A. Velez

Mark A. Velez My name is Mark Velez and thank you for visiting my site. I would like to take a moment to tell you about who I am and why I opened my own law practice. I was born and raised in Southern California. After completing high school, I applied at the Palos Verdes Estates Police Departme...


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