Middlesex County NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyer
Criminal and Traffic Defense Attorneys in Edison, New Jersey
Leaving the scene of an accident is a very serious violation in New Jersey, punishable by loss of license, jail time, DMV points, a permanent record, and hefty fines. Under certain circumstances, leaving the scene of an accident is charged as a criminal offense, as opposed to a traffic violation, which can expose you to even more catastrophic consequences. The facts of the specific case, including whether or not there was property damage, anyone was injured as a result of the crash, and the degree of these injuries, will influence the type of charges you face for leaving the scene. What is essential to understand in these cases is the reasonable assistance expected of drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey, and the immediate notification of authorities required by law. Unfortunately, drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents often learn of their legal obligations after they are charged with an offense. Regardless of whether you are facing criminal or motor vehicle charges for leaving the scene of an accident, our lawyers can help. At The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver, our practice is dedicated solely to criminal and traffic defense, which is why we are thoroughly equipped to tackle all manner of leaving the scene charges.
Will Proetta, our firm’s founding attorney, has successfully defended against thousands of municipal and superior court charges and motor vehicle tickets for clients across New Jersey. Our skilled attorneys represent clients throughout Middlesex County, including Woodbridge, Edison, Highland Park, Milltown, Iselin, Perth Amboy and New Brunswick. It is our goal to get leaving the scene of an accident charges dismissed for our clients so that they can avoid license suspension or points on their record. When this is not an option, we pursue any and all available options to achieve the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one has been charged with, or arrested for, leaving the scene of an accident in Middlesex County or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact our office in Edison at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Traffic Offenses in New Jersey N.J.S.A. 39:4-129
As mentioned previously, a charge for leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey can be a motor vehicle violation or as a criminal violation, depending on the circumstances. The motor vehicle statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-129, which governs leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey is provided below in pertinent part:
(a) The driver of any vehicle, knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible. Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be fined not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000, or be imprisoned for a period of 180 days, or both.
In addition, any person convicted under this subsection shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year from the date of his conviction for the first offense and for a subsequent offense shall thereafter permanently forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State.
(b) The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle, including his own vehicle, or other property which is attended by any person shall immediately stop his vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible. Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $400, or be imprisoned for a period of not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense, and for a subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than $400 nor more than $600, or be imprisoned for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days or both.
In addition, a person who violates this subsection shall, for a first offense, forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of six months from the date of conviction, and for a period of one year from the date of conviction for any subsequent offense.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident Traffic Violations in New Jersey
|First Offense (Causing Damage Only)||• $200 to $400 fine• Up to thirty (30) days in jail• Six (6) months license suspension|
|Second or Subsequent (Causing Damage Only)||• $400 to $600 fine• Thirty (30) to Ninety (90) days in jail• One (1) year license suspension|
|Accident Causes Personal Injury or Death||• $2,500 to $5,000 fine• 180 days in jail• One (1) year license suspension|
• Permanent license forfeiture for a second offense
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1 Leaving the Scene of an Accident Criminal Charges
If a person knowingly leaves the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, they may face charges for a third degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1. While third degree crimes are typically associated with a presumption of non-incarceration in New Jersey, meaning a person with no prior criminal record may be considered eligible for probation or a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention, this presumption of non-imprisonment does not apply to criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident. In other words, the State requires time in prison if you are convicted of a criminal offense for leaving the scene. As a third degree crime, you are exposed to between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Additionally, being charged with leaving the scene of an accident does not prevent the prosecution from charging you with additional crimes in connection with the same incident. As a result, defendants are often charged with offenses such as aggravated assault, assault by auto, or vehicular homicide in addition to leaving the scene. If you are convicted of one of these offenses, as well as leaving the scene of an accident, the sentences associated with each charge must be issued separately and you must serve the prison time consecutively. In other words, you have to serve the prison sentence associated with one charge before the term associated with the next one begins.
Contact Woodbridge NJ Leaving an Accident Scene Attorneys for Answers
As shown above, the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are quite severe, varying in complexity depending upon the alleged circumstances of the accident. Automobile accidents and collisions occur in many ways and the resulting damage can vary from a scratched fender to tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, the fault of crash is often at issue. Many of our previous clients never even realized they hit another vehicle. Others have thought that it was OK to leave the scene because there was little or no visible damage. Still, others have panicked, making the split second decision to drive away. Whatever are the circumstances of your leaving the scene of the accident charge, our lawyers will address your particular facts and aggressively defend your case and seek a dismissal of your charges. Contact us today at our Ediison offices at (732) 659-9600 to speak with an experienced leaving the scene of an accident lawyer who can answer your questions and address your concerns during a free initial consultation. We have representatives available 24/7 to answer your calls and build a case strategy customized to meet your needs.