Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a very serious violation in New Jersey which is punishable by loss of your license and even jail time. Additional penalties include DMV points, a permanent record, and hefty fines. An experienced defense attorney can often mitigate these consequences or help you avoid them altogether. Founding attorney, Will Proetta has successfully defended thousands of municipal court charges and motor vehicle tickets for clients over the years including leaving the scene of an accident. Proetta & Oliver represents clients throughout New Jersey, including Union Township, Linden, Roselle Park, Elizabeth, Clark, Rahway and Fanwood. We are often able to get leaving the scene of an accident charges dismissed for our clients so that they can avoid a suspension of their license and points on their record. If you or a loved one has been charged or arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, contact our office at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney.
New Jersey Leaving the Scene of an Accident Statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-129
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 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
Scotch Plains NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defense Attorney
As illustrated above, the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident can severe and complicated depending on the alleged circumstances of the accident. Accidents can happen in countless different ways, the damage can vary from a few dollars to tens of thousands, and the fault of crash can often be at issue. A large portion of our clients never even realized they hit another vehicle, others simply think because there is little or no damage it is okay to leave, while some people just panic and make a split second decision to drive away. No matter what the circumstances of your leaving the scene of an accident are, we will address it and aggressively defend your case and seek a dismissal of your charges. So contact us today at (908) 838-0150 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.
Additional Information for New Jersey Traffic Offenses
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted