The Law Offices of Katherine Schwinghammer

Civil Compromise


Posted by: Katherine Schwinghammer //

It’s always especially rewarding for me when I’m able to get my clients’ cases dismissed. I don’t bother to blog about it every time, but today I used a strategy that isn’t mentioned anywhere else on my website, so that motivated me to post a blog entry. That strategy is commonly referred to as a “Civil Compromise” and it’s outlined in California Penal Code section 1377 et seq. It’s a legal strategy that I’ve been using for many years and I’ve had great success with it. In a Civil Compromise, if the victim in a case is willing to state that he’s been fully compensated for any damages, and the victim wishes that the case be dropped, that request is often going to be granted. (There are certain circumstances where a Civil Compromise can’t be employed. Ask an experienced California Criminal Defense attorney for more details, about whether a Civil Compromise might help you in your situation.)

My client was charged with violating Vehicle Code section 20002(a)(1), Leaving the Scene of an Accident, commonly called “Hit and Run.” It seemed like a strong case, where my client was likely to be convicted. The prosecutor wanted to put my client on probation, make him pay a hefty fine, spend five days in jail, and do 100 hours of Community Work Service. My client was not optimistic about the case, and was merely hoping that I could help save his driver’s license. (A conviction for VC 20002(a)(1) would have given him two more points on his license, and he’d have lost his license, if convicted.)

Eventually the victim in the case decided that he did want to request a Civil Compromise, and my client’s case was dismissed. There’s no penalty for my client — no fine, no points on his license, no probation, no jail, and no court-ordered Community Work Service. It’s an especially rewarding outcome.

Katherine Schwinghammer  Attorney at Law