No one expects a police arrest, especially as a suspect in a severe crime like hit and run, whenever driving around your neighborhood or city. You will likely have several questions running through your mind, especially if this is your first encounter with the police or being under arrest for any offense.
Instead of worrying about what these allegations could turn into, you should do whatever you can to secure your freedom before your case's trial, which can occur weeks, months, or years after an arrest. One of the ways you can secure your freedom is by posting bail, which acts as security for your release before your charge's trial date.
Since the bail amounts for a severe offense like hit and run are often unaffordable, most defendants rely on the services of bail bond companies or bondsmen to secure their freedom on bond. Read on to learn more about bail bonds for a hit-and-run offense.
Legal Definition of Hit and Run Offense
The crime of hit-and-run occurs when a motorist causes a collision with another motorist or pedestrian and flees the scene without exchanging insurance details and contact information with the victims and the police. According to Vehicle Code (VC) 20001, you should do the following whenever you are in an auto accident:
- Stop your vehicle at the accident scene.
- Provide identifying information, like names and insurance numbers, to other parties involved.
- Provide reasonable help to any injured individual if you can.
- Provide your driver's license number to other involved parties.
- Immediately call the police if someone is dead.
The above requirements apply to all auto collisions or accidents involving property damage, death, or injury, regardless of who is at fault in the incident. Even if you are 100% certain the other motorist was at fault, the police can arrest you as a culprit in a hit-and-run case if you fail or refuse to follow these vital rules.
Bail Amounts for Hit and Run Charges
Upon your arrest as a suspect in a hit-and-run case, the police will drive you to their station and hold you in custody until you pay or post bail. If your offense has a predetermined bail amount in their bail schedule, you can post your bail immediately to secure your freedom. However, if the alleged charge has no predetermined bail amount, you must wait for the bail hearing to know your bail price.
The bailing should occur within twenty-four (24) hours after an arrest, unless your arrest occurred on a weekend or holiday. In that situation, the bail or arraignment hearing should occur within forty-eight (48) hours. Although the judge can use the bail schedule to determine your case's bail amounts, he/she has the right to set the bail he/she feels is appropriate and fair for your charges.
Some of the factors the judge will consider when determining your bail price for the alleged VC 20001 violation include the following:
- Likelihood of fleeing the state after your release.
- Your criminal record.
- Your family and community ties.
- The severity of your offense.
- Whether you are a threat to public safety.
In most cases, the judge will set bail for hit-and-run charges at $10,000 if there was an injury or death to another person. However, if there was no injury or death, the judge could set your bail price at $1,000. Although this bail price is lower than the bail set for several other misdemeanor and felony offenses, it is still unaffordable to most arrestees or defendants.
Very few people have that amount of money in their bank accounts ready to solve these emergencies. However, if you cannot afford the amount, staying behind bars as your case continues is not an option. A bail bondsman can take this financial burden off your shoulders by signing an agreement with the court to post the amount when you fail to show up on your court hearing dates after your release.
In exchange, you will pay the bondsman ten percent of your bail as a premium for his/her swift San Jacinto bail bonds services during these challenging times. When you adhere to the conditions of your release on bond, the court will exonerate your bail, meaning the bondsman will not be financially liable for your release afterward.
Potential Sentence to Expect After a Hit and Run Offense Conviction
Your sentence after a conviction for a hit-and-run offense will depend on whether the accident caused property damage or the injury of another person. If the accident caused the injury or death of another person, the prosecutor will file your offense as either a felony or misdemeanor under Vehicle Code (VC) 20001.
A misdemeanor VC 20001 violation conviction will attract a jail term of up to one (1) year and a fine of not more than $10,000. However, if your offense is a felony, your sentence upon conviction at trial will include:
- A fine not exceeding $10,000.
- Two (2), three (3), or four (4) years of detention in the state prison.
- Felony probation.
Conversely, if the accident caused property damage, the prosecutor will file your charges under VC 20002. A conviction under this statute will attract the following misdemeanor penalties:
- Up to one (1) year of jail time.
- A fine not exceeding $1,000.
- Misdemeanor probation.
If you are charged or are under arrest for an alleged VC 20001 violation, hiring a defense attorney is a decision you cannot regret. A skilled attorney can guide you through the confusing legal justice system and challenge the allegations you are up against at trial to secure a favorable outcome, including dismissal of the charge or a lighter charge.
Why You Need San Jacinto Bail Bonds Services Upon an Arrest for an Alleged Hit-and-Run Offense
Obtaining San Jacinto bail bond services has several advantages if you have hit-and-run charges. Explained below are some of these benefits:
You Will Have Quick Access to the Necessary Funds
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the bail price for a severe offense like hit-and-run can be high and unaffordable. That is where the services of a bail bondsman become crucial because he/she can give you quick access to the amount of money you require to obtain your freedom in exchange for a small percentage of your bail price as his/her services' fee.
Ensure the San Jacinto bail bonds service provider you choose offers 24/7 services to ensure swift services and quick access to the funds you need to obtain your release from jail without delay.
You Will Enjoy Flexible Payment Plans
Another benefit of retaining the services of a bail bondsman is that they have flexible payment plans for their premiums. Unlike bail, which the court requires you to pay in full to secure your freedom, you can settle your bail bondsman's premium in installments through your convenient means, including:
- Credit card.
- Bankers cheque.
You Will Obtain a Quick Release from the Detention Facility
Undoubtedly, every minute behind bars feels like weeks or months. Since you are innocent until the prosecutor obtains a guilty verdict against you at trial, you should work on securing your freedom as soon as possible if you are behind bars for an alleged VC 20001 violation.
Retaining the services of a bondsman is one reliable way to secure your freedom within the shortest time possible upon an arrest. An experienced bondsman who understands the ins and outs of the legal justice system can post your bail as soon as possible to secure your release, pending your charge's judgment.
Fortunately, when you work with a bondsman, you can be certain of a quick release from the detention facility to go home to your family.
You Will Receive Expert Legal Guidance About Your Options
Although a San Jacinto bail bondsman is not an attorney, he/she can offer relevant legal advice to help you make the right decisions before interacting with the police or prosecutor. Since they play a crucial role in the legal justice system, you cannot overlook the need for a bail bondsman's guidance upon an arrest for an alleged VC 20001 violation.
Your Assets Will be Safe
Retaining the services of a San Jacinto bail bondsman allows you to safeguard and protect your property and assets since you do not have to liquidate them to clear your bail price. Moreover, you do not have to give them to the court as collateral for your release while waiting for your case's trial date.
You Will Have Someone to Hold You Accountable
Since the bondsman will have his/her money at stake for your freedom, he/she will do his/her best to ensure your availability in court after securing your release on bond. Aside from being a crime to skip bail, skipping could affect your eligibility for bail in future arrests.
Fortunately, a reliable bondsman will be there for you and will help you avoid this mistake by ensuring you are aware of your scheduled court hearing dates. Your bondsman can ensure your availability in court by sending you reminders of the scheduled court dates on time.
How to Obtain a Reduced Bail Amount for Your Hit and Run Offense
Although bail is not a punishment for your charge, sometimes judges could set significantly high bail amounts, making it challenging to bail yourself out of jail. If you or your attorney believe your bail amount is extremely expensive or unfair, he/she can request a bail reduction in any of the following ways:
Application During The Arraignment Hearing
The arraignment hearing will be your initial court appearance, where the judge will inform you of the allegations you are up against and your plea options. During this hearing, your defense attorney can apply for a reduced bail amount and present arguments to show you deserve a lower bail price. The court could reduce your bail amount if your attorney can prove, with sufficient evidence, that:
- You do not pose a risk to the safety of the public.
- You do have a prior criminal record.
- You are indigent.
- You have no record of missing court dates.
- You have family ties and are an active member of your community.
Filing a Bail Reduction Motion
If your bail is significantly high, your attorney can help prepare and file a written motion to lower it based on the constitutional or statutory factors listed above. In addition to these statutory factors, it is unlawful for judges to set excessive bail.
Since there is no clear cut on what makes bail excessive, you will rely on your defense attorney to convince the judge with proper arguments that you deserve a reduced bail amount.
Filing a Motion to Show a Change in Circumstances
When charged with a severe charge like a VC 20001 violation, the judge will be reluctant to reduce your bail below the scheduled amount unless he/she finds a good cause or unusual circumstances. According to PC 1289, a "change in circumstances" refers to any change in your situation, court proceedings, or case facts.
If your defense attorney can prove to the judge beyond a reasonable doubt that there are changes in circumstances, the court could lower your hit-and-run bail price.
Advantages of Posting Bail After an Arrest for a Hit and Run Offense
Aside from being your legal right, posting bail has several benefits as your case proceeds through various stages of the criminal justice system. Some of these advantages include the following:
- It allows you to protect your sanity because staying in overcrowded detention facilities could affect your mental health.
- You will be in a better position to prepare for your case with the help of your defense attorney.
- You will have a chance to return to work and earn income to take care of your family and hire the best attorney for legal representation on your case.
- You will have the chance to resume your studies if you are a student as you wait for the outcome of your charge.
Find Reliable San Jacinto Bail Bonds Services Near Me
If you are in police custody or charged with a hit-and-run offense and need financial help posting bail, our team of experienced bail bondsmen at Fausto Bail Bonds can help. We invite you to call us at 855-328-7867 for swift San Jacinto bail bond services to secure your freedom without delay.