Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears: Hit & Runs

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 in Celebrity Justice, Personal Injury, Traffic

lohan_arrest2_070724_ms.jpgOrlando Bloom is reportedly being investigated by Los Angeles authorities for a hit and run last Friday night. Driving a friend’s car, Orlando had a car crash that left his friend (riding in the front passenger seat) with a fractured neck. Paparazzi recorded Orlando walking away from the scene, and then walking back, and later asking someone to call 911.

Lindsay Lohan’s out of rehab, but she still has to face hit and run charges stemming from her collision with a tree last Memorial Day. Lindsay was also charged with DUI – and cocaine was allegedly discovered in the car, as well. Lindsay was filmed running from the scene by paparazzi ….

Britney Spears was charged with hit and run on Monday, after she bumped her convertible Mercedes into another vehicle while she was parking the car. Paparazzi caught the entire episode — including Britney checking her car for damage, but not the victim’s, before going on her merry way — on video.

Okay, what’s up with these hit and run charges – and who should be most worried?

Hit and run – more formally known as leaving the scene of an accident – is illegal in every state, although each state treats the crime a bit differently. Some generalities do apply across the board, however:

1. If someone is injured and you leave the scene of an accident, then you’re gonna be facing incarceration in prison or jail as well as a substantial monetary fine. Not good news for Orlando Bloom: California law provides for up to 4 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Good news for Orlando: no harm, no foul: the paparazzi trail also demonstrates that Orlando was on the scene, did try to help his friend, and gave a report to the cops. He was not arrested or charged at the time. The intent of the law is to commit people to do exactly what Orlando did – stick around and help. Smart Orlando.

2. If someone could have been injured, ditto. You need to stick around — the law isn’t going to distinguish too much on protecting potential victims just because you lucked out and no one was hurt. Lindsay Lohan didn’t hurt anyone in her crash, but she could have. There were passengers in her car. Running away – not the best move.  Of the three celebritites, Lindsay’s got the biggest problems here.

3. Injuring property is the least offensive result of a hit and run, and receives the lightest treatment under the law. Britney Spears’ fender bender in the parking lot may have hurt the parked car, but there wasn’t a chance that humans were going to be harmed in this incident. Britney’s biggest problem here is knowingly driving without a valid California license in this instance.

If you are in a car crash, do not leave the scene. Even if it’s minor and seems like a hassle, stick around, get the cops, and make a police report. If you have to be someplace – you’re late for brain surgery, say – then leave a note on the car giving all your contact information and include the reason why you couldn’t stick around. The courts do not see this as an admission against interest on your part, nor is it deemed to be a violation of your constitutional right against self-incrimination. Nice try, though, if you thought of that….

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