Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a "hit and run" in California. This accident can involve another car, an unattended vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, or even knocking down a mail box or parking meter.
It does not matter who was at fault — leaving the scene of an accident without providing necessary information to the other parties, or providing help to the injured in case of an injury, is considered "hit and run".
A "hit and run" is a "wobbler" and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If it is property damage only it is usually filed as a misdemeanor. If the accident results in bodily injury or death, then leaving the scene is a felony. It is also considered a felony if you don't help the injured or if you don't call the police immediately, even if it wasn't your fault.
Hit and run felony charges can have severe consequences. A conviction will likely result in jail time. Points will be added to your driving record and your California driver's license will be suspended. The amounts of fine and jail time generally depend on the severity of the injury, the number of injured parties and your past criminal history.
You will be charged with vehicular manslaughter or homicide if you leave the scene of accident, they find you, and the victim dies. If an animal dies during the hit and run you will be charged with animal abuse. If you can't find the owner of the damaged vehicle or property, leave a note! In severe cases or injury accidents, call 911 right away. THEN CALL US NOW!