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Hit and run, minimal damage. Can I be arrested or get Jail time? clean record, and 1st ever offense.

San Diego, CA |

On the morning of January 1st I was heading back home from work at 3-4am. I was about 3 blocks away from my house I come over a hill and go to switch the screen back to the GPS(which is just the press of one button) (recently moved to this area) and I slowly start to roll down the hill into the back of an SUV. Now I am in a Smart car so of course the damages were more to the car I was driving than the parked SUV. Now after I hit the car, the car alarm went off on the SUV. Immediately I thought to myself, College student with part time job and I'm already going to have to pay for the damages to the smartcar, I can't afford this, so, of course I backed up and drove on home. Minimal damage to the parked car and no one was inside.
My main thing is I don't want any jail time or arrest.

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Attorney answers 6


Well, if no one saw you and you haven't been contacted by the police, then you probably got away with it. That said, put yourself in the other person's shoes - you come out in the morning and find your car dinged and no note. How would you feel?

Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney/client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Feasel to further investigate your situation, feel free to contact him thru this site.



few days ago, I get a call from an Insurance company asking questions about the accident. I thought it was the car sharing programs insurance company but at the same time thought maybe I was reported a hit and run. So they asked me questions about the accident. I made up a story saying that I was a trying to pull into my driveway and hit my roommates car. After she finished recording the details she stopped and said she asked those questions because I was reported a hit and run. Since I never confessed to actually hitting the car that was hit.Does that still give me a recorded confession? My main thing is I don't want any jail time. I know if anything I'm going to have to pay for the damages to the SUV. How can I avoid jail time. Is there a way I can plea Civil Compromise? (that the misdemeanor be dismissed once the accused completely reimburses the damaged property and do some community service?) This is my FIRST EVER offense. I have a clean and spotless driving record and criminal record.


Contact a local attorney. You advise the attorney of the situation. The attorney contacts the owner of the damaged vehicle and gets a repair estimate. You give the attorney the money. The attorney deposits the funds into his/her client trust fund and writes a check to the owner. Attorney cnnot give you up as your name is a part of the information given in confidence.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.



How can I find a cheap local attorney? Also, How would the attorney find out the owner of the damaged vehicle? I don't know who the vehicle belongs to at all. Also thank you, Harry. I've been freaking out about this for the past few days, can't sleep.

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Harry Edward Hudson Jr


Doubt you want "cheap" . You can look on AVVO or other on line referral services.You want effective and reliable. There is a price for that. Considering your actions and your desire to escape resopnsibility to the extent it causes you to have a criimal record and damage to your insurance premiums, I would think cost is not a consideration. Hopefully you have the license plate number. You cannot do this on your own as to gain the advantage you wish, you are necessarily disuading a witness. That is a crime.


If someone saw you and or the license plate or a partial license plate number on your vehicle it may take some time for them to track you down. If they do you can be immediately arrested and taken to jail where you will sit until you post bail. I HIGHLY recommend you contact a local criminal defense attorney and discuss this matter in private rather than over the Internet where anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Good luck.

I will be happy to speak with you at no cost with a FREE phone consultation if you have a San Diego or California matter. Please call my office at 619-238-1905 or visit my website at


So, apparently no contact by law enforcement has been attempted. Therefore, they may or may not have any good information about the event happening or you are the person to have done this bump and run.

Having said that it is only the 19th of January and perhaps the report still sits on some detectives desk. So, bottom-line, if an officer of the law calls you. Seek counsel at one, do not admit to anything but be cooperative without answering. Then contact competent counsel in this area.

You have the ability to do a ciil compromise in cases like these which can result in either dismissing, never filing, or for a judge to dismiss criminal charges should the prosecutor object. However, that is when (and if) a case is filed. You are not sure about this as of yet.

So perhaps just contact the owner of the car, or have an attorney on your behalf do that to determine damages. You may even or should have insurance coverage for any damage or costs to the other vehicle.

But you also need to understand a charge of 20002 of the Vehicle code otherwise known as a hit and run, can result in 2 points on your DMV. Thereby might be best to just pay this person direct out of pocket.

Something like event which has no injury to a person, rarely results in jail time other than a booking and a release. As long as you comply with any terms and condition the court may impose. Should a case be filed in the future.

Good luck and next time leave a note of wait for the owner to arrive with the alarm sounding. Kinda hard to say you waited when an alarm is going as in most neighborhood, most people come out to turn it off within five minutes.

God luck.


To best avoid jail time or an arrest, stop posting case specific facts on public forums such as avvo, resist the temptation to speak to insurance and/or law enforcement if contacted, and hire the best locally experienced criminal defense attorney you can afford.

Good Luck!

Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555


You should refrain from discussing this on online forums like this because the information you post there could be used against you in court. Discuss it in confidence with an attorney. If law enforcement contacts you to discuss this or arrests you, refuse to answer any questions without an attorney present.

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