When driving a motor vehicle in the state of California, it is important to always focus on pedestrians and avoid hitting them. If you were to hit a pedestrian, you can deal with some significant consequences. These may include fines, criminal charges, and losing your license. In order to become a more informed motorist, it will benefit you to know what to expect in case you accidently hit a pedestrian while driving in the state.


Fines

Those who hit a pedestrian in California will most likely be fined. In this situation, you will have to pay a certain amount of money which can be up to $1,000. One thing that you will have to keep in mind when getting fined is whether or not you hit the pedestrian on purpose or due to negligence. For example, if you were to hit a pedestrian due to lack of knowledge of traffic laws, then you will likely be fined more money. However, if you were to hit a pedestrian while they were jaywalking, then you may get a low fine or not be liable for any fines at all.

Criminal Charges

Another thing that you will need to keep in mind when hitting a pedestrian is facing criminal charges. When driving and hitting a pedestrian, if they were to die, then you will likely face manslaughter charges. This is a felony and can result in a significant amount of time in prison. You may also face misdemeanor charges for hit and run. These criminal charges will likely be filed against you if you hit a pedestrian intentionally. However, if you were to hit a pedestrian by accident and you took the necessary steps in reporting it, then you will likely be exempt from criminal charges.

License Suspension or Revocation

Whenever you hit a pedestrian, another consequence that you may face is losing your license or authorization to drive. Drivers who hit pedestrians in California will likely have their driver’s license suspended. In this situation, your license will be temporarily invalid and you are not legally allowed to drive a vehicle. Motorists will have to go through certain steps to reinstate the license. The more significant consequence is getting your license revoked where it is no longer valid. You will need to get a new driver’s license. Having your license suspended or revoked will be more likely to happen if you have hit a pedestrian intentionally or if you were driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Exceptions

While facing significant consequences for hitting a pedestrian is likely, there are some exceptions. These exceptions will likely be granted if hitting a pedestrian was their fault and not yours, the driver. If a pedestrian is drunk and on drugs and shows complete disregard for their safety, then you will be exempt from suffering disciplinary consequences. Drivers who obey traffic laws and report an accident that includes hitting a pedestrian, will also likely receive an exception. Pedestrians who cross streets illegally will also allow you to avoid consequences for hitting them.

Conclusion

Whenever you take the road and drive, one of the last things you want to have happen is to hit a pedestrian. While driving on the road, it is important to follow the traffic laws and be on the lookout for pedestrians at all times. In the event you hit a pedestrian, you will likely have to face punishment that can include fines, imprisonment and the loss of your license. Drivers who hit a pedestrian by accident, report the accident and/or the pedestrian recklessly crosses roads will likely avoid being liable for these consequences.

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Scott Desind

Scott Desind

Scott Desind | Traffic Ticket Attorneys The Traffic Ticket Attorneys, Desind and Klijian, have over 25 years of experience fighting traffic tickets. Our attorneys are well respected and known for their experience in fighting traffic tickets, specialized knowledge of the law and procedures and results by the court personnel, officers, deputies, competitors and clients.