If you are charged with a Hit and Run in Los Angeles, you have not yet been convicted. In order to be convicted, you must either enter a plea of guilty, or the Criminal Court must find you guilty of all the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the court cannot prove each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, your case will be dismissed for lack of evidence.
There are three elements that must be proven: 1) That there was damage to property or injury to person 2) that no contact information was left, and 3) the driver left the scene.
Damage to Property or Injury to Person
There must be some injury or damage. The extent of the injury will determine the nature of the charge. If there is significant injury to a person, the charges will generally be a felony. If there is minimal damage to property, then the charge will likely be a misdemeanor. The sentence will also depend on how intense and extensive the injuries or damages are.
No contact Information
The person who caused the injury or damage must leave contact information so that the person whose property is damaged can contact them.
Leaving the Scene
It is not a hit and run if the person has not fled the scene. The person must leave without leaving any contract information.
Let's consider an example. Daniel is driving home from a bar and on his way home he hits a fence on someone's home. It is a windy day and it is raining. Daniel gets out of his car and leaves a note wrapped around the fence stating his contact information so that someone can contact him. He also knocks on the door of the home but no one answers. He takes off for home and is later charged with a hit and run, even though he made some effort to contact the owners of the property. Luckily, Daniel took a picture on his phone of the note that was left, and what it said to aid in his case.
Daniel's case is not a strong one for Prosecutors. He attempted to leave contact information and to try to talk to someone but was not able to. It does not qualify as a hit and run. Daniel's Los Angeles hit and run lawyer will argue that Daniel's case does not meet the elements of a hit and run case.
If you have been arrested for a Hit and Run and believe that you do not meet the elements, then it is a good idea to seek the professional advice of a lawyer.