California Vehicle Code section 20002(a) states:
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. Moving the vehicle in accordance with this subdivision does not affect the question of fault.
California Vehicle Code section 20003(a) states:
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in an injury to or death of any person shall give his or her name, current residence address, the names and current residences addresses of any occupant of the driver’s vehicle injured in the accident, the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and the name and current residence address of the owner to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and shall give the information to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. The driver shall also render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is required by any injured person.
So, clearly it is illegal for a driver who has been involved in an accident to leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene is considered as a “hit and run” and is a crime. Depending on the circumstances, this may constitute a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, this can result in: Probation, a $1000 fine; possibly 2 or 3 points on your driver’s license record, a criminal record or increased rate.