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VC 20002 (a, b) - Hit and Run / Injury / Property Damage

VC 20002 (a, b) 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 following:

(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.

(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 requirements.

(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 fine.

Hit and Run tickets for violating VC 20002 (a-b) are very serious criminal charges that can have negative consequences that last for 10 years or more.  These are misdemeanor violations, which are criminal offenses.  Misdemeanor violations will give the driver a criminal record for 7-10 years, which will show up on most background searches.

The penalties for violating VC 20002 (a-b) includes 2 points on the DMV record for 10 years, license suspension for 30 days to 10 months, possible jail sentence of 4 days to 6 months, and fines of $1,000 or more. 

Hit and Run offenses can double, even triple, a driver’s insurance rates for many years.

If charged with VC 20002 (a-b), it is highly recommended to hire an experienced attorney to help with this.  An experienced attorney will often get a far better outcome for a driver than that person could obtain on their own.

This is why you never want to accept the charges, plead guilty, and pay the fines for Hit and Run violations.