Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Could Land You In Jail
Did you know if you leaving the scene of a auto accident (N.J.S.A. 39:4-129) you could be charged with aggravated assault or assault by auto? In New Jersey, hit and run is a crime of the fourth degree. It is a law in New Jersey that if you knowingly are in an accident you must stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident and remain there until the police arrive. If you leave the scene of an accident you will be facing fines between $500-2000, up to six months in prison, a Motor Vehicle Commission Surcharge, up to 8 points on your driver’s license and suspension of your driving privileges. If the accident caused severe personal injuries, the penalties are much greater than if there is only property damage. New Jersey State Law takes the crime of leaving the scene of an auto accident very seriously. The best course of action is to stay on the scene of the accident and wait for the police. If you leave the scene you will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to face your criminal charges.
What Is leaving the scene of an auto accident (N.J.S.A. 39:4-129)?
When you are involved in an automobile accident, you are required to stop, notify authorities and wait for the police to arrive. If you leave for any reason, you must go back to the scene and make a report of the accident. If someone is hurt, you are required by New Jersey law to provide reasonable assistance by calling for an ambulance or taking the person to the hospital. Failure to fulfill these obligations can lead to criminal charges under N.J.S.A. 39:4-129.
What Happens If A Personal Injury Occurs?
If someone suffered an injury from the accident, the penalties are very severe for leaving the scene. First of all, the driver will receive 8 points from MVC on their license. Second, the driver will face a mandatory 1 year license suspension. Third, the judge may impose a 180, day jail sentence on the defendant. And fourth, the defendant is required to pay fines anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. This is a crippling penalty. The judge has the discretion to impose both the maximum fine and the maximum jail sentence on a defendant. Furthermore, if you are charged with this offense more than once, your license may be suspended permanently.
What Happens If Property Damage Occurs?
If only property damage resulted from the accident, leaving the scene can still yield harsh fines and jail time. First of all, the MVC will assess 2 points on your license. Second, the driver will still face a mandatory license suspension, this time for 6 months. Third, the judge may impose a 30 day jail sentence on the defendant. And fourth, the defendant is required to pay fines ranging from $200-$400. For merely property damage from a genuine accident, these are harsh penalties. Moreover, if you are charged with this offense more than once the fine is increased to between $400 – $600, the jail sentence may extend to 90 days, and the license suspension may increase to 1 full year.
The severity of the penalties related to leaving the scene of an accident are harsh and require legal help from Villani & DeLuca, P.C.. Centrally located in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, our firm has been defending clients since 1996. Call 732-820-1256 for a FREE legal consultation.