Can I be charged with leaving the scene of a accident

Asked over 4 years ago - West Covina, CA

I had just picked up some donuts and the bag slipped off the bed spread on the passenger seat. When I grab it I turned the wheel and hit a parked car . I was approach by some people and one called the police. I called a tow truck and waited there for the police and tow truck. Than I called a friend to pick me up. The tow truck came and before he was finished I left my info on the car I hit. What I left was my name, address, phone number, Insurance company name,policy # and phone number. I was on my way to pick up the rest of my belongings in Vegas when my son called me to tell me the police where going to charge me with leaving the scene of a accident

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Gary Philip DuFour

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . In California you are required by the vehicle code to do certain things when involved in an accident. For a Non-injury collision, these are embodied in Vehicle Code Section 20002 which reads in relevant part:
    20002. (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 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.

    From your description its sounds as if you have substantially complied with the law. Unless there are some other facts that you have omitted you are likely not going to be charged with hit and run.

    You should however consult with an attorney who can make contact with the reporting agency. Remember any statement you make to the police over the telephone or otherwise can be used against you.

  2. Steven Ronald Kuhn

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . The other answer is exactly correct. You appear to have done what is required under the law. Maybe the police does not know you left your contact information so make sure that they know that.

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