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San Jose CA hit and run lawyerNobody plans for a car accident to happen, so when it does, it can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you are not sure what to do when you get into an accident. The one thing you should never do if you are in an accident is leave the scene of the accident without exchanging information with the other driver. If you do, you could be charged with a hit-and-run offense, which can carry some pretty serious consequences. Hit-and-run charges are no joke and should be handled by a skilled lawyer who has experience defending against these charges.

Felony and Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run Charges

There are two different types of hit-and-run charges in California: felony and misdemeanor charges. You can be charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run if all of the following were present:

  • You left the scene of an accident;
  • You did not leave any information to the other party or parties involved; and
  • Another person’s property was damaged in the accident.

A hit-and-run charge does not usually become a felony until another party is injured or killed in the accident and you leave the scene without leaving any identifying information. Even if there is no damage to anyone’s property or no bodily injury, you can still be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, though the offense will most likely result in a fine.

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San Jose CA traffic ticket attorneyMost states have some sort of points system in place to track drivers’ traffic tickets and violations. California’s points system is called the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS), and it is a system that sends computer-generated warning letters and progressive disciplinary actions to drivers who are convicted of traffic violations. If you accumulate a certain number of points in a specific amount of time, you could be facing disciplinary action such as fines or a driver’s license suspension or revocation.

Assigning Points

Violations can range from zero to three points, and the amount of points received for a violation depends on how serious the violation is.

One Point Violations

Examples of one point violations can include:

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San Jose Traffic Ticket Defense LawyerThe U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 42% of police contact occurs at traffic stops, and of that, about half result in a citation. While a traffic stop can be anxiety-inducing, it is essential to keep calm and use common sense. Your behavior during a traffic stop might be your make-or-break moment when a police officer is determining whether or not to issue you a ticket. Here are some useful tips on what to do and what not to do when you are pulled over:

Acknowledge Their Attempt.

Signal to the officer that you see they are trying to pull you over. Turn on your right blinker to indicate that you will be pulling off onto the shoulder, or if there is no shoulder available, turn your hazard lights on to show that you are trying to find a safe stopping location. If you do not indicate your acknowledgment and intent to comply, the officer might believe that you have reason to flee, or are attempting to do so.

Be cautious at night.

If the stop occurs after daylight hours, try to find a well-lit area to stop, such as a restaurant, gas station, or parking lot. If there are no businesses nearby, pull over to the right shoulder, as far away from the road as possible to keep yourself and the officer out of danger.

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San Jose traffic violations attorney, California traffic ticketNo one likes being pulled over by the police. People like it even less when they receive a ticket or citation as a result. However, for some, that is only the beginning of the problems. Many people work paycheck to paycheck and simply cannot afford to shell out extra money for an expense of which they did not plan or budget. Until this year, a program was in place to help those individuals. The California Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program was enacted in 2015 as a measure to relieve the financial burden receiving a ticket can have. However, that program ended as of April 3, 2017.

About the Amnesty Program

Under the program, drivers with unpaid tickets were eligible to have the amount they owed reduced or have their revoked driver’s license reinstated, barring any legal exclusions. Roughly 200,000 people were assisted by this program which helped them reduce the amount of debt they had to pay and the time frame in which they had to pay it. Now, the program has expired. So, what does that mean for you?

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