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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  9+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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CA Traffic accident advice

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CA Traffic accident advice
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. What is your question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I got into a traffic accident on Sunday morning at 12:30am. I hit a telephone pole and left the scene. the cops came to my house but didn't issue a citation. They just said I was going to get a bill for the pole damage. I still haven't contacted my AAA insurance. What do I do?


Thank you for the additional information. How did the police know you hit the pole? Were there any witnesses?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My license plate was left at the scene. They said there were witnesses.

Thank you for the additional information. Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage is a criminal offense, so it is certainly a good thing if you were not charged nor think you will be charged. The decision to contact your insurance company and file a complaint, is entirely up to you. You should make sure that it would cover the property damage and pay for the pole, along with the repairs to your vehicle. You should re-read the scope of your policy and decide if it is better to report this and have it covered or something that may make more sense to pay out of pocket, depending on the extent of the damage. If you are covered and there is a high cost for repairs to both the car and pole, you should consider reporting the accident to the insurance company. If the damage is not a lot, you may want to handle it yourself, to avoid this being documented and a possible increase of your insurance rates as well.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since I wasn't issued a citation the night of the incident can they still come after me for a hit and run sentence and will I have to spend any time in jail. My car is totaled but I don't know what the damage est will be. I had liability insurance.

Yes, they can still come back and issue a citation for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. This charge does carry jail time, if convicted but if you are a first time offender, there is no reason the DA would seek any jail time. They would likely look to impose a fine, court costs, restitution and it could possible result in a suspension of your driving privileges. Moreover, the ability to prosecute depends on someone being able to place you behind the wheel of the vehicle and identify you as the driver. It is possible that someone had borrowed your car and you were not driving, so unless you can be identified, there may be an issue with the prosecution.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I drove the car home and put it in my garage. They came but just talked with me for about an hour. The cops left and said I would be getting a bill for the pole. Does it sound like I'm off the hook? Is it worth it to get an attorney at the point?

I would get an attorney if you are charged. Unless you want to try and fight/dispute the bill for the pole, there is not need to get legal counsel at this time, since you have not been charged and already spoke with the police. Moreover, if they asked you to come in and speak with them again, I would be on alert and retain counsel then, as well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What would be the list of possible charges and what are the maximum sentences. I have had a DUI about 5 years ago. Also, do you know of any legal representation here in Anaheim, CA? I'm working but don't make much money. How much would you charge to represent me?

The punishment could be up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. They would likely charge you with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. We are not able to represent you, as it is outside the scope of the site. If you need an attorney, if charged, it is best to contact the Bar Association for a referral or use a site like or
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So these are the maximum sentences/charges and I won't see any additional charges, correct? Since this is my first hit and run I probably won't see any jail time correct? Can I get a transcript of this discussion?

Since there were not victims and/or injury, the State should not seek any jail time. It is possible under the law but restitution, fines and court costs are more likely with the possibility of probation, if needed. If you want, you can copy and paste this into a word document, to keep, if you need it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! I'm really scared right now but I guess things could have been a lot worse.

You are welcome. I do understand and think it is a positive thing if you have not been charged yet and need to wait and see regarding the bill for the pole and anything else that may result.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last question, what are some estimates on the pole damage and for the city of Placentia to repair the pole? A range would be fine.

I am sorry but it is impossible to say. There is no way of knowing how much they would charge for the labor and who they would buy the pole from and if the whole thing needed to be replaced. I wish I could share this with you but it would only be a guess.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the feedback and have a great day!

You are welcome. If you have not already, please remember to rate my help with 3, 4 or 5 faces, so I can get credit for my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'll be giving you a 5 rating. How long do the have to seek these charges 6 months/1 year, etc.

One year, since it is a misdemeanor.
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