Leaving the Scene of an Accident
The penalties involved for leaving the scene of an accident without reporting (also called "hit and run") depend on whether any prior conviction for this crime exists and also whether death, property damage, or only personal injury occurred. Any charge for leaving the scene of an accident that involves personal injury can be charged as a criminal offense with serious criminal penalties that range from a class B Misdemeanor to a class D Felony.
Attorney for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Queens
If the law enforcement officer alleged that you committed a crime by leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for Queens, NY before making any statement to the police. Any statements that you make may be held against you at trial.
The law is unforgiving for any crime involving leaving the scene. An attorney can help you at every stage of the case.
Rochelle S. Berliner has nearly 20 years of experience in the New York criminal justice field. Her experience can help you build a strong defense. No matter the circumstancs surrounding the event, it's critical to consider your legal options and have a strong adocate at your side. Call to discuss your defense during a free and honest consultation with Law Office.
- New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws
- New York's Leaving the Scene Statute with Property Damage
- New York's Leaving the Scene Statute with Personal Injury
The offense for leaving the scene of an accident without reporting most commonly occurs in New York City under several different types of factual scenarios:
- The collision or touching of the two vehicles is so minor that one of the drivers doesn't realize the crash occurred;
- The driver stays at the scene to exchange information, but the other driver complains that the exchange of information or reporting was not satisfactory in some way;
- The crash occurred as a result of a road rage incident and one driver is so afraid of the threat of physical violence that he leaves the scene;
- The driver left the scene of an accident because he was afraid of being arrested for an outstanding warrant, an invalid driver's license, a criminal traffic offense or driving while intoxicated (DWI);
- The accident is so unexpected and horrific that the driver decides to flee in a moment of panic while under the stress of the situation.
New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 600(1) provides that if the driver knows or has reason to know that damage has occurred and the vehicle or structure involved in the accident is present, then the driver is required to stay at the scene of the accident in order to do the following:
- show his driver's license and proof of insurance; and
- provide his name, address, insurance carrier and driver's license number to the other party.
In the event that the driver strikes an unattended vehicle or structure, and the owner is not present at the scene, then the driver shall report the fact that the accident occurred, and the information listed above to the "nearest police station or judicial officer.”
The criminal charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage is considered an traffic infraction punishable under VTL 600(1)(b) with a fine of up to $250 and/or up to 15 days in jail. In addition, you will be assessed 3 points on your driver’s license.
New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 600(2)(a) provides that if a driver is involved in an accident and knows or has cause to know that the accident caused personal injury to another shall stop at the scene in order to provide the injured person (if practical) or a police officer with the following:
- the opportunity to look at the driver's license and proof of insurance; and
- information about the driver's name, address, insurance carrier and driver's license number to the other party.
A violation resulting solely from the failure of the driver to exhibit his license and insurance identification constitutes a class B misdemeanor. Any subsequent such violation is considered a class A Misdemeanor. Any subsequent violation committed by a person who previously has been convicted of such a violation will be charged as a Class E Felony.
Finally, any violation other than for the mere failure to exhibit a license and insurance information where the physical injury involved results in death or serious physical injury also constitutes a class E felony.
Law Office | Hit and Run Defense Lawyer in Queens
Have you or a loved with been charged with leaving the scene of an accident? Do you suspect that you may soon be? It's important to carefully consider your legal options as "hit and run" accidents can potentially be classed as felony crimes under New York Law.
Contact New York criminal defense lawyer Rochelle S. Berliner to discuss your situation and begin building a strong defense. You can have Law Office review your case by calling or submitting an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
- Criminal Traffic Offenses