What Evidence Is Needed to Convict a Hit-and-Run?

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When someone is charged under California hit-and-run laws, the prosecution must prove two things: that the defendant was the driver of the car, and that he or she drove recklessly with disregard for human life. 

Exactly what evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run?

Three Types of Evidence

In a hit-and-run case, a judge hears evidence from both sides and decides if the defendant is guilty. That means you must collect solid evidence if you want to win and collect damages. The hit-and-run investigation process in California typically utilizes three categories of evidence.

Eyewitnesses. Without eyewitnesses, there may be reasonable doubt that an accident actually occurred, let alone that someone caused it. Witnesses often provide integral details like the car model or if there was a dent on the front bumper.

Forensics. As one example, tire marks can sometimes indicate the speed at which a vehicular collision occurred.

Blood stains or other physical evidence could possibly be used to identify whether or not victims were wearing seatbelts at the time of impact. This type of forensic evidence can be used to show whether or not a victim was ejected from the vehicle during an accident. Blood also may contain DNA that can be linked to specific individuals who were involved. 

Blood spatter patterns, samples of glass from a windshield, and footprints could also be used in an investigation.

Circumstantial evidence. The type of circumstantial evidence that is most commonly found in hit-and-run accidents is vehicle damage, especially paint transfer. This typically occurs when an object is struck by another vehicle. Some paint is transferred from one car to another.

If police find this type of paint transfer on a suspect’s car, it can be taken as visual proof that he or she was involved in a hit-and-run accident in which another vehicle sustained damage.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyers After a Hit-and-Run

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you’re not alone. Some people ask if a hit-and-run is a felony in California. The answer is, sometimes. 

California Penal Code §20001 prohibits leaving the scene of an accident where someone was killed or injured without providing your identity. California hit-and-run laws state that to do so could be a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and three years in prison.

The above information should give you a good idea of what evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run. Orange County lawyers Kohan & Bablove Injury Attorneys can help you find out what happened and who has legal liability for it. Chat live on our website or reach us by phone at 1-844-404-2400