Hit-and-Run takes place if you leave the scene

If you are in an auto accident involving injury or death, you are required by law to stop immediately at the scene. In California, hit and run takes place if you leave the scene of an accident without first identifying yourself to the other people involved. If a person (other than yourself) was injured or killed in the accident, a hit-and-run offense may be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of a felony hit-and-run offense, you could be sentenced to serve time in a state prison.

In addition to stopping, California law imposes additional requirements if you are in an accident involving injury or death. For example, you must show identification to the other driver or police officer and you must provide “reasonable assistance” to the injured driver or other injured parties (e.g., pedestrian or bicyclist).

Felony Hit-and-Run Charges?

A 32-year-old woman has turned herself in to authorities after allegedly driving without her lights on and striking and killing a pedestrian in Rosemead.

A pedestrian identified as Qingrong Chai was fatally struck by a car early Sunday evening. The accident happened at the intersection of Greendale Avenue and Marshall Street around 7:00 p.m. The seventy year old was struck by an SUV and died immediately from her injuries. According to witnesses, the SUV did not have its headlights on.

The driver of the SUV, later identified as 32-year-old Janet Bowman, initially fled the scene. However, she later turned herself in, posted bail and was released. A court date is scheduled for February. If the family of Qingrong Chai files a wrongful death claim against Bowman, she could face civil as well criminal charges in the incident.

In this case, the prosecutor may elect to charge as a felony because the accident underlying the hit and run resulted in death. For this felony, the prison term could be anywhere between 24 and 48 months.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman