Ticket for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Bridgewater?
Getting into a car accident in Bridgewater, New Jersey can be a traumatic experience. For many people, the first instinct is to flee the area after getting into an auto accident. However, leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in New Jersey and the consequences are serious. It is important for anyone charged with leaving the scene of an accident to consult with a Bridgewater NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyer.
In New Jersey, those involved in a car accident must stop their vehicle as close to the scene of the accident as possible. They must identify themselves to all other parties involved in the accident and the police. If it was a single-car accident, they must report the accident to the nearest police station. It is not a defense that you had no knowledge of the damage caused by the accident. If the accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage worth $250 or more, it is presumed that you are aware of your accident.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
The penalties associated with leaving the scene of an accident includes fines ranging from $200 to $400, up to one month in jail and a driver’s license suspension of up to six months. For a second or subsequent offense of this type, the penalties include fines ranging from $400 to $600, one to three months in jail and a driver’s license suspension up to one year.
Leaving the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury occurred is an indictable offense. In New Jersey, it is a third-degree crime. Serious bodily injury is defined as any injury that results in permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of function or movement of any bodily organ or member, or substantial risk of death. A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury occurred can result in five years in prison.
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Bridgewater, it is important to consult with a Bridgewater NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyer. The Sloan Law Firm handles leaving the scene of an accident in Bridgewater and throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, call (908) 358-2938.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Law
N.J.S.A. 39:4-129: Action in case of accident.
(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 but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. 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. The term of imprisonment required by this subsection shall be imposed only if the accident resulted in death or injury to a person other than the driver convicted of violating this section.
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, but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. 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.
(c)The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage to any vehicle or property shall give his name and address and exhibit his operators license and registration certificate of his vehicle to the person injured or whose vehicle or property was damaged and to any police officer or witness of the accident, and to the driver or occupants of the vehicle collided with and render to a person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying of that person to a hospital or a physician for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that the treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.
In the event that none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under this subsection, and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such accident after fulfilling all other requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, insofar as possible on his part to be performed, shall forthwith report such accident to the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and submit thereto the information specified in this subsection.
(d)The driver of any vehicle which knowingly collides with or is knowingly involved in an accident with any vehicle or other property which is unattended resulting in any damage to such vehicle or other property shall immediately stop and shall then and there locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or other property or, in the event an unattended vehicle is struck and the driver or owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle doing the striking or, in the event other property is struck and the owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall notify the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and in addition shall notify the owner of the property as soon as the owner can be identified and located. Any person who violates this subsection shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(e)There shall be a permissive inference that the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage in the amount of $250.00 or more to any vehicle or property has knowledge that he was involved in such accident.
For purposes of this section, it shall not be a defense that the operator of the motor vehicle was unaware of the existence or extent of personal injury or property damage caused by the accident as long as the operator was aware that he was involved in an accident.
There shall be a permissive inference that the registered owner of the vehicle which was involved in an accident subject to the provisions of this section was the person involved in the accident; provided, however, if that vehicle is owned by a rental car company or is a leased vehicle, there shall be a permissive inference that the renter or authorized driver pursuant to a rental car contract or the lessee, and not the owner of the vehicle, was involved in the accident, and the requirements and penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall be applicable to that renter or authorized driver or lessee and not the owner of the vehicle.
Any person who suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a violation of this section or who suppresses the identity of the violator shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 or more than $1,000.
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