If you’re in a traffic accident in California, stop, assist anyone who’s injured, and provide the other driver with your contact and insurance information. If you fail to stop, you can be charged with hit-and-run, regardless of who was actually at fault in the accident. More seriously, if you’re under the influence of alcohol at the time of the hit-and-run, you’ll probably face multiple charges and severe consequences. If you’re charged with a DUI-related hit-and-run in southern California, get legal help immediately. Speak right away with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.
If you face combined DUI and hit-and-run charges, at your arraignment the court will tell you the maximum sentence you face, the prosecutor will offer you a plea bargain, and the court will ask you to enter a plea. The prosecutor may offer to drop one of the charges, but only if you accept a “Harvey Waiver.” Don’t agree to anything you don’t entirely understand. Before you go to court, obtain the legal help you need from an experienced California DUI defense attorney.
If you agree to a Harvey Waiver, it allows the court to sentence you for a charge that’s been dismissed. Normally, of course you have a right to be sentenced only for a charge you have been convicted of or pled guilty to. A Harvey Waiver waives that right. One charge will be “officially” dropped, but the sentence you would have received is added to your sentence for the charge that wasn’t dropped. If you accept a Harvey Waiver, you’ll face the same sentence you would have faced had you been convicted on the dismissed charge.
Let’s say police officers watch you crash into a parked car and leave the scene while intoxicated. They charge you with both hit-and-run and DUI. The court agrees to drop the hit-and-run in exchange for a Harvey Waiver. The hit-and-run doesn’t appear on your record, but your sentence for the DUI includes the penalties you would have received had you been convicted of hit-and-run. It can get complicated, so it’s absolutely imperative to consult with a good DUI lawyer before accepting any deal or waiving any rights. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, have an experienced Orange County DUI attorney defend your rights and fight for justice on your behalf.