Cherry Hill NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Attorneys
Defense Lawyers for Leaving a Car Accident in Camden County and throughout South Jersey
In New Jersey, leaving the scene of an accident can be a serious traffic violation or criminal offense, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. When you are involved in a car accident in New Jersey, you are obligated to stay at the scene of the crash and to notify the nearest law enforcement agency. If someone is injured, you must contact emergency personnel to ensure they receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Even when no one else is present and there is simply property damaged, you are required to report the accident. Failure to stay at the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a serious offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129. Based on the damage or injuries caused by the accident, you may be forced to pay heavy fines and even to serve jail time if convicted. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Attorney William Fay has been dedicated to providing superior criminal defense for clients charged with crimes and motor vehicle violations for years. With offices in South Jersey, our criminal defense law firm serves clients throughout New Jersey. Our legal team includes former Deputy Attorney General for New Jersey Attorney General’s Office William Fay, who is now a formidable opponent for any prosecutor in local municipal and superior courts. He meticulously investigates our clients’ cases to find errors in police procedure and holes in the prosecution’s arguments, which we then use to achieve the best possible results. For a free consultation with an experienced leaving the scene of an accident lawyer, contact us at 609-832-3202 today.
Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident in violation of NJSA 39:4-129
Any person involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey must follow the rules outlined in New Jersey Statute 39:4-129. First, you must come to a complete stop as near the scene as possible. If a person is injured or dead, or if any vehicle or property is damaged as a result of the crash, you must provide your information to the person injured, the owner of the damaged property, any police officer or witness to the accident, or to the driver or occupants of the vehicle you collided with. The information you must give includes your name, current address, contact information, driver’s license number, and your vehicle registration.
If a person is injured, you must help them get medical treatment immediately, whether that involves calling an ambulance or taking them to the nearest doctor or hospital. If no one is present and you are involved in a car crash, you must contact the nearest police department or law enforcement agency to provide the information. Notably, New Jersey requires a police report for accidents resulting in $500 or more in property damage, as well as those resulting in injury or death. If the accident is more minor and there is no police report filed, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission must still be notified.
New Jersey Penalties for Leaving an Accident Scene
The potential penalties for leaving the scene of a car accident in New Jersey are determined by the extent of the injuries or property damage caused by the collision. Specifically, if the accident results in injury or death of another person, you may face up to 180 days in jail, a fine between $2,500 and $5,000, and a period of driver’s license suspension. If it is your first offense, you may lose your license for one year. For a second offense, the State may permanently revoke your license.
If you leave the scene of an accident resulting in property damage and no injuries to others, you face lesser penalties. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail, a fine between $200 to $400, and suspension of your driving privileges for up to 6 months. For a second or subsequent leaving the scene charge, you are exposed to a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a fine ranging from $400 to $600, and a one-year license suspension.
It is important to note that you may also be charged with a third degree indictable crime for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury means permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of function or movement of any bodily organ or member, or injury creating a substantial risk of death. A third degree leaving the scene conviction may mean up to 5 years of incarceration.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Criminal Charge in NJ
There are two types of charges for leaving the scene of an accident: a traffic charge and a criminal charge. The classification of the offense makes a huge difference when it comes to the possible penalties that can be imposed if you are convicted or plead guilty, which is why it is imperative that you have a solid understanding of these charges and what they could mean for you. The less serious of the two types of charges for leaving the scene of an accident is a traffic charge. The far more serious type of charge for leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal charge. If you are charged with a criminal offense for leaving the scene, the penalties may include significant jail time. So, what distinguishes a criminal charge for leaving the scene from a motor vehicle ticket for leaving the scene? The criminal offense is set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1 of the New Jersey criminal code, and it states that “knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in serious bodily injury” is a felony. The key distinction here is that the injuries sustained by the other motorist, or by any passengers in either vehicle, were serious enough to create a substantial risk of death or cause permanent disfigurement, impairment, or loss of the function of a body part or organ.
If you are charged with a crime for leaving the scene, the prosecutor will first need to seek an indictment from a grand jury. To be indicted by the grand jury, the jury’s members must find that there is sufficient evidence to formally charge and prosecute you for the crime. This type of private proceeding goes on without your involvement and you will not attend. Only after the jury’s decision to issue a no bill or true bill will you find out if you are being indicted. Prior to this, you may be able to resolve the case by having your lawyer work out a more favorable deal with the prosecutor during your Pre-Indictment Conference. Generally speaking, the stakes are so high in these kinds of criminal cases that the defendant will almost certainly want to be represented by a criminal defense attorney.
Contact a Voorhees Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defense Attorney Today
If you have been accused of leaving an accident scene in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, or elsewhere in South Jersey, it is imperative to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your rights and legal options. Our criminal defense law firm includes a group of highly knowledgeable criminal attorneys who will ensure you have the legal guidance you need during this stressful time. For a free consultation, call our office at 609-832-3202 or contact us online to begin your conversation.