Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience, but it becomes even more complicated if the accident involves a pedestrian. In California, striking a pedestrian can have severe legal consequences, ranging from criminal charges to possible imprisonment.
What Legal Consequences Can I Face if I Accidentally Hit a Pedestrian with My Car in California?
In California, several factors determine whether a driver can be arrested after hitting a pedestrian with their car. Under California law, motorists must exercise reasonable care when driving, especially if pedestrians are nearby. Therefore, drivers who engage in reckless behavior or violate traffic rules while driving, such as speeding or texting, may face civil and/or criminal negligence charges in the event of a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian.
If a car accident involving a pedestrian does occur, the police will investigate the incident to determine whether it involved negligence. If the police find evidence that the driver behaved negligently, the driver could face the following legal consequences:
- The driver may avoid arrest and only face civil negligence charges.
- The driver may be arrested and only face criminal negligence charges.
- The driver may be arrested and face both criminal and civil negligence charges.
In many cases, the extent of the charges will depend on the severity of the accident and the injuries sustained by the pedestrian. For instance, if the pedestrian suffered insignificant injuries, the driver may only be charged with a minor traffic infraction. However, if the pedestrian sustained severe injuries or died, the driver could face vehicular manslaughter charges, which could result in the driver paying hefty fines and serving time behind bars.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Dedicated Criminal Defense Attorneys Today!
If you accidentally hit a pedestrian with your car in California, it's important to be aware that you could potentially face criminal charges. This could have significant consequences that can jeopardize the life and relationships you've worked so hard to build.
At Appel & Morse, our legal team possesses the knowledge and resources required to develop a strong defense strategy on your behalf. Our top priority is to pursue every available avenue to help get the charges you’re facing reduced or dismissed.
To learn more about our firm and what we can do to help you if you’re facing criminal charges in California, read our clients’ testimonials.
If you're dealing with criminal charges in California because you accidentally hit a pedestrian with your car, it's important to reach out to our legal team at Appel & Morse. We offer a free consultation with our criminal defense lawyers in Fresno. Don't hesitate to contact us today. You can call us at (805) 467-6060 or connect with us online.