misdemeanor hit and run for sideswiping a trash can

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by wermy33, Jul 28, 2008.

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  1. wermy33

    wermy33 New Member

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    My son has received a ticket in the mail. He is charged with misdemeanor hit and run, and unsafe turning maneuver. He was returning to work one day from his house after lunch. When he was going down the road, a dog ran out in front of him, he swerved to avoid the dog and sideswiped a plastic trash can that was in the road. He did not stop because he did not run over the dog or the trash can. He did not hit anyone or injure anyone or cause any damages. What should we do? Does he need an attorney to handle this? appreciate any help. We live in redding in northern california.
     
  2. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Yes, he needs an attorney. This is a criminal allegation.

    Plus, I have to say, the swerving to avoid a dog thing is old ... if this was a residential street (not too many trash cans on highways), then she speed limit should have been 25 to 35 MPH depending on the area. At those speeds, it is far more likely (had he been going the speed limit) that he would have braked rather than swerved off the road.

    Whether he will be convicted or not will depend on the statements of the involved parties. Since someone got his license plate, it is pretty clear that they have a good eyewitness to the incident, so you just might want to inquire again with your son what happened. And, contact an attorney.

    - Carl
     
  3. wermy33

    wermy33 New Member

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    Yes it was a residential street. But I guess you think someone would stop, but in my experience when a dog runs out in front of you (old or not it happens all the time because people do not confine their animals, even more so in a residential area) you automatically swerve as you hit the brakes. Secondly how can it be hit and run when it clearly states on the dmv website that you must report an accident to the police or chp in 24 hours if it involves an injury or death. And that you only need to report to the DMV if there is over 750 in damages or someone is injured or killed. Exactly what is the hit and run? Also I guess it is okay not to report it if Chp or police are too busy to respond. When I was rearended they refused to respond because there were no injuries. Then the guy who hit me when I was at a complete stop, lied completely and I never got paid. I guess that is fair. Of course living in northern california,, we find that not much in the court system is fair.
    So if you want to say he was speeding then why wasn't he charged with that and what does that have to do with hit and run, on what a trashcan? So then he will have to spend money on attorneys instead of his family, and here is a guy who takes care of developmentally disabled adults to keep them safe on the streets of our county. So think what you want but obviously you are insane to think it is hit and run to sideswipe a trash can.
     
  4. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Ah! And when they DO swerve, they often DO tend to strike property along the side of the road ... parked cars, cans, etc.

    That's for CVC 20001 ... CVC 20002 requires a reasonable attempt to contact the owner of any property.

    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.
    ...​

    The report to DMV is not the same thing.

    If more than $750 in value then you must report the collision to the DMV via the SR-1. But, this does not absolve you of reporting a collision to the police or contacting the owner per CVC 20002.

    Presumably striking the garbage can and then leaving the scene without an attempt to contact the owner.

    It's a property damage report, the police are not required to respond. But, the driver IS required to make a reasonable effort to identify or contact the owner of the property. Absent that, he should contact the police to cover his bases - even if it is to make a phone report in case the owner later reports the damage.

    That's an issue for the insurance companies. Your insurance should have paid and then gone after the other guy ... unless, of course, you were under-insured.

    This has nothing to do with the court system State law does not require a law enforcement response to non-criminal acts, and only to injury or fatal collisions. The public likely would not want to pay for the number of officers that would be required for your city of Redding to respond to every fender bender.

    Likely they could not prove speed. They CAN show an unsafe speed, but why charge that when they have a greater offense? They CAN (apparently) show reason to believe a hit and run occurred. And striking a trash can is striking property and is covered under CVC 20002. In fact, had he struck the dog, the same issue might have applied had he left the scene without stopping.

    These things usually go away if the involved party makes good on the damages.

    Then advocate to change the law so that vehicle damage to property is no longer criminal. As it is today, damaging someone else's property with a motor vehicle and then failing to stop and attempt contact with the property owner is a crime.

    He should speak to an attorney. Ignoring the issue - or disagreeing with the law - will NOT make it go away.

    - Carl
     
  5. CyberCop

    CyberCop New Member

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    It's a criminal allegation but i got great news!!! They need to first prove he was the one driving and identify him. Second get an atterney so that they can help fight this! Don't contact police or tell them what happened the more they know the better the chances of getting arrested.
     
  6. wermy33

    wermy33 New Member

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    first of all, the owner of the trash can is the city, he did contact the city utilities, told them what happened but that the trash can was completely servicable, they laughed and told him not to worry about it. so he did contact the owner but did not have to stop to do that because the owner does not live there.
    secondly I was not underinsured, I am overinsured,, and the reason I was not paid back for my deductible was because the driver who hit me made up a complete fantasy, and with no police report we each pay for our own, and i will never move my car again without a police report.
     
  7. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Of course ... even if the DRIVER cannot be firmly identified, the owner of the vehicle will still be liable for the damages. And THAT, ultimately, is what is sought in these matters. It is very rare that the state actually prosecutes for a hit and run unless the responsible party refuses to make restitution.

    - Carl
     
  8. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Then your son can argue that in his defense. Apparently the person or business renting the trash receptacle (and who is responsible for it) was not aware of this contact.

    It's sort of like contacting the lease company and not contacting the owner of a leased vehicle.

    But, the law requires him to stop. Please read CVC 20002 at your leisure.

    Then you may be waiting for a very long time in the future. Remember, state policy (and RPD policy) says that they do not have to take property damage reports.

    - Carl
     
  9. wermy33

    wermy33 New Member

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    also in reply if the city police cannot respond to every fender bender (even when I was hit from behind) then tell me how they have time to respond to a hit and run on a trash can

    Also there are no damages for him to make good on,, so that is obviously a moot point.
     
  10. wermy33

    wermy33 New Member

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    So since there are no damages why would any "reasonable person" pursue such a matter? and why would the police department help them
     
  11. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    They don't have to. But! The driver has a responsibility to stop and attempt to notify the owner of the property or the person responsible for it. CVC 20002 does NOT say he has to contact the police.

    That has yet to be seen. But, if there are no damages, then he may be okay.

    But ... if he did not hit anything - as you originally alleged - why would he contact the city services and then tell them "what happened". if he did not hit anything, then what did he tell them? That the can was not hit?

    Again, the issue with CVC 20002 is his not stopping to attempt contact with the responsible party. If your interpretation were to stand, then you could hit my car and not tell me as long as you reported it to the "legal" owner which might be my mortgage company. It does not work that way.

    Again, read the section.

    And if there is no damage, that could have been resolved then. And, if there are still no damages, it is likely this will go away. But, he still needs to attend court and before doing so he should speak with an attorney. It is likely that an attorney can resolve the matter without court.

    - Carl
     
  12. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    The police department takes reports of an allegation of a criminal act. They took the report and sent out a citation related to that criminal allegation. Whether the DA pursues it will be up to the Shasta County DA. I suspect that they will rather see it resolved either by restitution or mutual agreement that there was no damage. So long as the city services are not going to pursue the person in possession of the can with any penalty for the damages, then I suspect HE will be fine with it and the DA will drop the matter.

    - Carl
     
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