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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Hit a parked car and ran

    What is the name of your state?
    I hit a parked car about two months ago. it was in a resteraunt parking lot. I believe there was a camera. just got a detectives letter about a traffic accident with my license plate. I have read/researched about this. my question is, will I need to hire a lawyer or just use the appointed one? damage caused to their car is the front bumper, driver headlamp and foglamp. what level of charge could I be looking at? how many points wil be added to my record? what court fees will I be paying? Cost of car damage depends on the car...so that's not part of my questions...
    The car is legally under my parents. I was driving...What is the name of your state?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    Standard answer

    Here are some hints on appearing in court:

    Dress professionally in clean clothes.

    Do not wear message shirts.

    Don't chew gum, smoke, or eat. (Smokers...pot or tobacco...literally stink. Remember that before you head for court.)

    Bathe and wash your hair.

    Do not bring small children or your friends.

    Go to court beforehand some day before you actually have to go to watch how things go.

    Speak politely and deferentially. If you argue or dispute something, do it professionally and without emotion.

    Ask the court clerk who you talk to about a diversion (meaning you want to plead to a different, lesser charge), if applicable in your situation. Ask about traffic school and that the ticket not go on your record, if applicable. Ask also about getting a hardship driving permit, if applicable. Ask about drug court, if applicable.

    From marbol:


    You forgot the one thing that I've seen that seems to frizz up most judges these days:

    If you have a cell phone, make DAMN SURE that it doesn't make ANY noise in the courtroom. This means when you are talking to the judge AND when you are simply sitting in the court room.

    If you have a ‘vibrate’ position on your cell phone, MAKE sure the judge DOESN'T EVEN HEAR IT VIBRATE!

    Turn it off or put it in silent mode where it flashes a LED if it rings. AND DON'T even DREAM about answering it if it rings.”

    (Better yet, don’t carry your cell phone into the courtroom.)”

    Here are six stories that criminal court judges hear the most (and I suggest you do not use them or variations of them):

    1. I’ve been saved! (This is not religion specific; folks from all kinds of religious backgrounds use this one.)

    2. My girlfriend/mother/sister/daughter/wife/ex-wife/niece/grandma/grand-daughter is pregnant/sick/dying/dead/crippled/crazy and needs my help.

    3. I’ve got a job/military posting in [name a place five hundred miles away].

    4. This is the first time I ever did this. (This conflicts with number 5 below, but that hasn’t stopped some defendants from using both.)

    5. You’ve got the wrong guy. (A variation of this one is the phantom defendant story: “It wasn’t me driving, it was a hitchhiker I picked up. He wrecked the car, drug me behind the wheel then took off.” Or, another variation: “I was forced into it by a bad guy!”)

    6. I was influenced by a bad crowd.


    Public defender’s advice


    Other people may give you other advice; stand by.

    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    How to Deal with Prison

    You were accused of a crime and either after a trial or a plea bargain, you were found guilty and sentenced to do time in prison. You will spend most of your time in a locked building with people that have done despicable things, some worse than you can imagine. If you behave, it might go easier on you. Nonetheless, you will have to make the best of it if you are going to survive.

    Do not cry, show fear, or a vulnerability publicly. Doing so will quickly make you a target for other prisoners.

    Learn to play spades, chess, or hoops as it makes the time go by faster.

    Get a prison job which will keep you occupied as the days pass by.

    Read a lot. They have a library there so use it. Catch up on your reading.

    Consider taking correspondence courses and continuing your education.

    Consider writing as well. Letters to friends and family, fictional short-stories, and poetry can make time pass a bit faster.

    Brace yourself for the social dynamics of prison. There are certain ways to behave towards others if you want to get by:

    Do not become a 'punk' (girlfriend). While becoming a punk might give you some fleeting, temporary protection from other inmates, you will be a virtual slave to one. Punks are used and abused. They are traded away in card games and sold for cigarettes. It is not a path to long term survival in prison.

    Do not snitch. If you see something illegal or violent, walk away and do not divulge any information if questioned later. Being known as a snitch will make bad things happen to you. (Of course, you have to decide whether your fellow inmates or the authorities are more dangerous. If you're questioned and lie to the jailkeepers, you can get in serious legal trouble.)

    Stick up for yourself or you will be turned into a punk. It's better to get into a fight and lose than to be seen cowering or placating. Your reputation is more important than your desire to avoid pain, so guard it with your life. Ultimately you should avoid any confrontation if you can, but if you can't avoid one, react quickly and with aggression. So swing first. If you happen to get beat down never call for the correctional officers--I repeat, never. Doing so will get you labeled a punk.
    Keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut and don't tell anyone about your personal life, family, or criminal history--keep them wondering, but don't overdo it. Do not discuss politics or personal feelings about anyone. In other words, don't put your business out on the street. At the same time, don't get involved in other inmate's business.

    Become religious. Inmates tend to treat those always carrying a Holy Book and praying with more respect than others. In addition, many people find a church and belief in a higher power protective and supporting.

    Recognize that nights are the worst. You will miss your family, and freedom. You will probably cry, so stifle it into your pillow so no one will hear.

    Tear up the return address from your incoming mail and cover the dial pad when calling home. Other inmates will write or call your friends and family if given a chance.

    Don't get caught up in a jailhouse romance. The last thing you need is to be getting involved in a relationship.

    An excellent resource for how to deal in prison is Jim Hogshire's book "You are Going To Prison" from Loompanics Unlimited. It is an informative, no-holds-barred read.

    Respect the prison staff. They are there to help you. Their purpose is to bring about a reformation in your life.

    Take pleasure in the feel of the sunlight on your face, the sound of the birds chirping and the wind in your hair. These are free and they can't take them away from you (unless you go to Seg - but that's a warning).

    Determine to change your life completely so that you never have to spend time in prison again.

    Do not do anything that will result in relocation to a different prison.
    When walking, always look ahead. Don't stare at others, but don't wander around staring at your feet.

    If your time is getting short or if you are being transferred to a lesser facility don't tell anyone. Out of spite some convicts will get a sick glee from getting you sent to the hole.

    For the truly hardcore in states where it is allowed, you can avoid any parole time by doing your time in the hole up to your mandatory release date. This gets rid of any "good time" which you will serve on paper. Not recommended, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.


    The information here mostly only applies to American prisons. If you are incarcerated in a non-American facility then you will have to learn different codes of behaviour. For example American prisons are notorious for male rape a problem not so severe in Europe.

    Do not admit or discuss any crime against a minor. Child molesters, abusers and murderers are considered the lowest forms of life in prison and subject to frequent attacks. If you are convicted of a crime against a child, insist on being placed in Protective Custody immediately. You won't be able to hide the nature of your crime in a general population prison for long. You risk your life when (not if) other prisoners find out.

    Do not gamble, unless you can pay your debts. They will use violence and stop at almost nothing to get what is due to them.

    Remember, you are in a house of thieves and liars, and should not believe very much of anything you hear. Do not trust other inmates except in cases where there would not be serious consequences for doing so. I.e., make careful choices regarding your "friends" and your location at any given moment of the day.

    Avoid drug use in prison. Drugs use, while providing a temporary escape, will lead to other problems.

    Avoid tattoos. Prison tattoos can be unsanitary and lead to hepatitis or other diseases.

    No matter how mad that person makes you, don't lose your line and time behind them. They aren't going to get you home any quicker. And getting your line and time taken will keep you there longer.

    Do what you gotta do, but don't lose sight of the reason for surviving - getting out.


    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Somnambulist University
    Quote Originally Posted by mahjinboo
    will I need to hire a lawyer or just use the appointed one?
    Lawyers aren't 'appointed'. You have to request one... and prove that you cannot afford one.

    damage caused to their car is the front bumper, driver headlamp and foglamp.
    Not relevant.
    In People v. Carbajal, the Supreme Court of California stated that the purpose of the hit and run statute is to provide the owners of property damaged in an accident with the information they need to pursue civil remedies. The Court held that the crime is complete upon the actual fleeing of the scene, “whether or not his or her conduct caused substantial or minimal, or indeed any damage.” 899 P.2d 67, 73 (Cal. 1995). It is the ‘running away’, and not the specifically the resulting damage, which is against public policy.

    what level of charge could I be looking at?
    Based on your post, likely a misdemeanor criminal charge.

    how many points wil be added to my record? what court fees will I be paying? Cost of car damage depends on the car...so that's not part of my questions...
    The car is legally under my parents. I was driving...
    It seems that you are focusing on the WRONG issues. Your real focus should be on the CRIMINAL charge(s) you are facing... and not the insurance issues.
    Failure to comply with the statute is a misdemeanor and the offender could be punished up to six months and be fined up to $1,000. Cal. Veh. Code § 20002(c) (2005). Additionally, the Supreme Court of California stated in Carbajal that it is within the trial court's discretion of a hit and run case to force the defendant to pay restitution to the owner of the property damaged for the purposes of rehabilitating the offender and deterring future criminal conduct. This simply means the court has power to mandate that the offender pay compensation to the victim of the ‘hit and run’ for the resulting property damage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    as of right now were awaiting a call back.

    We got the letter from the detective, we called, and no one has called us back. My friends went to the place and confirmed that they have numerous cameras and if the film was given to the police, there are about 3 cameras that show 3 angles of it.

    So im already planning that im in trouble. My parents are going to appear (since the letter was addresed to my parents..yes I know it states the person driving at the time should be appearing..but my parents want to find out whats are the details from the detective frist) and if the detective has evidence and the issue is on that hit and run my parents will tell the detective they had no idea and will contact me.

    At that time, I will talk to the detective directly and admit everything. I have already began saving money (and have a safe amount of money in the bank) to deal with this. I will plead guilty. Im awaiting a call from my friend who is a lawyer, but unfortunately, Im not even sure if he's in California right now.

    I will be requesting a lawyer by the court if my friend cant help me.

    I listed the damage to expalin what I hit, I am aware that I will have to pay for their repair, rental of a vehicle (if applicable) and compensation granted by the court.

    Your right, the extent of punsihment by the court was not on my mind as much as it should have been. But I have a record for a few speeding tickets and thats it.

    How about my drivers license? Is there a chance it will be suspended? How many points would be added to my record? Would a this have any effect on my LVN (Vocational Nursing License)?

    Other then the standard suggestions listed, what else can I do to better prepare myself?

    Thanks again.
    (FYI: Sorry if my wording is incorrect, I hope you get the gist of it)

    Last edited by mahjinboo; 08-19-2006 at 05:42 AM.
  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    If convicted of 20002 (the hit-and-run) your license MAY be suspended by the DMV. Likewise, the court may do the same if convicted. If you are under 18, a 6-month suspension is likely.

    Keep in mind that the detective may not speak to your parents. He might, if they indicate they know who was driving ... but if they are going to play the, "We MIGHT know ... but you have to show us all the cards in your hand, first ..." then they might find out what other cards the detective could play. One such card is the seizing the suspect vehicle as evidence. I do hope that your parents are not going to try and protect you from your own dumb actions.

    In most such situations that I have seen, the DA is satisfied if the damage is taken care of. And if you are a juvenile they may defer prosecution provided you keep your nose clean for 6 months or a year.

    - Carl

    A Retired Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
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