Is Fleeing From An Accident Scene A Crime In New York?
After being involved in a car accident in the state of New York, as a driver, the law obliges you to take certain steps. If you fail to do as required by law, you could end up facing serious consequences. Unfortunately, because of the confusion and stress that comes after a car accident and other things, sometimes, drivers do things they are not supposed to do after an accident occurs. For example, sometimes, drivers leave the scene of an accident only for them to end up facing criminal charges. Yes, in the state of New York, it is a criminal offense to flee the accident scene under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 600 (Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting).
In New York, if an individual is involved in a car accident that results in property damage or injury, they are required by law to remain at the accident scene to share insurance information and other necessary information with the other party involved in the accident. Failure to stay at an accident scene can result in a person facing harsh consequences. This includes hit-and-run accidents where a driver hits another car and leaves the accident scene. Suppose you hit a parked car or hit an unoccupied car, you are required by law to report your insurance information and other necessary information to the nearest police station.
Penalties for Leaving an Accident Scene
In the state of New York, the penalties for the crime of “leaving the scene of an incident without reporting” depend on the specifics of a case. For example, if you leave the scene of an accident after causing property damage, you risk being charged with a traffic violation, paying a monetary fine of up to $250, getting three points on your license, and spending up to fifteen days in jail. On the other hand, if you leave the scene of an accident knowing that personal injury has been caused to another individual, you risk spending up to one year in jail. If you leave an accident scene in a case where an accident involves serious injuries or death, you could end up staying in prison for 7 years. The fine for leaving the scene of an accident in New York is between $250 and $5,000 if injuries are involved. The fine a person pays depends on the severity of the injuries.
Other potentials penalties for leaving the scene of an accident include:
- License suspension
- License revocation
Circumstances Under Which You Can Leave an Accident Scene
Under New York law, there are some provisions for leaving an accident scene. For example, you can leave an accident scene to get medical treatment or if it is genuinely unsafe for you to remain at the accident scene.
Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with leaving an accident scene, you need to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights. If you are facing charges for leaving an accident scene, you need to speak to an attorney immediately and explain why you left the scene. Even though your reason for leaving the scene of the accident is not necessarily a legal defense, it might help your attorney understand your case.