Following a hit and run arrest, a person has two separate windows to negotiate with the government to reduce or have their case dismissed.
When a person has been arrested, the citation and police report are taken and filed with the police station. The officers are then the ones who review the case and turn it over to Prosecutors for filing. It is at the officer's recommendation that the case goes to the courthouse. The Prosecutors then review the case in their office and make the decision of whether they are going to file a case against the defendant.
Many times there are negotiation tools that can be used when speaking to officers that prevent the officers from sending the case to Prosecutors in the first place. This not only helps the person avoid any kind of criminal prosecution, it helps the person avoid the hassle, time and expense of a criminal case being filed against them. It also prevents a conviction from going on their record.
For example, let's consider the case of David. David was driving home and hit a person's fence. Being in a rush, David failed to provide any contact information to the owner of the home and took off. Officer's arrested David after speaking to witnesses, who provided David's license plate number and physical description. David contacted the owners of the home and made amends. He paid for all the damage and saw that it was completed to the satisfaction of the owners.
After all improvements had been made, the owner's of the home signed a civil compromise. A Civil compromise is a document that proves to officers or prosecutors that the victim of an alleged crime has been paid restitution and no longer has any issues with the person who caused the damage or injury. In this situation, the home owner was given restitution, as the damage to the home was fixed, and he no longer felt the need to file charges, since there was nothing left pending.
When a person consults with an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer as soon as possible, the lawyer has time to contact the alleged victim, and execute a civil compromise. The civil compromise is then presented to the officers, before the case is ever sent to prosecutors. If the officer's see that restitution has been paid and the person who was damaged or injured no longer seeks restitution, the officers may be more willing to drop the charges and leave the file on their desk. If the case ends there, there will be nothing further added to the person's criminal record.
It is in your best interest to consult with a professional as soon as possible to avoid prosecution as much as possible. When a case goes to Prosecutor's it may still be dismissed, however, it is better to have the case never reach the Prosecutor's desk if at all possible.