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New York Hit-And-Run Laws


After being involved in a car accident, some drivers flee the accident scene. People flee the scene of a car accident for various reasons. For example, a driver may take off because of panic and fear. Other drivers flee to avoid being arrested for DUI, and others because they don’t have insurance. In New York, leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit-and-run, is a serious offense. If you flee the scene of an accident in New York, you could face jail time. You could also be required to pay substantial monetary fines.

What Legal Responsibilities Do Drivers in New York Have After a Car Accident?

According to New York Law, a driver must stop after hitting another vehicle or property and exchange information with the other party or parties involved. For an accident involving only property damage and no injuries, you are required to give the other party or parties your contact, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information. Additionally, if there appears to be at least $1,000 worth of property damage, you are required to call the police. If an accident involves injuries, you are required to call the police and file a report. You must also give the other party or parties your insurance and contact information. You must share this information even if you are not at fault for the accident.

Suppose you hit another car in a parking lot and cannot locate the other driver. In such a case, you can leave your information in a note attached to the other car’s windshield. If the vehicle’s owner cannot be located, you must contact the police.

Penalties for a Hit-And-Run in New York

If you flee the scene of a car accident in New York, you can face criminal charges. In New York, fleeing the scene of an accident can be a traffic violation, misdemeanor, or felony. If you are involved in an accident that only results in property damage and leave the accident scene without sharing information, that is considered a traffic violation. If the accident results in an injury and you flee without sharing information with the other party or parties, that is considered a misdemeanor. If serious injuries occur, the offense of leaving the accident scene will be considered a Class E felony. Finally, if someone dies, the hit-and-run will be classified as a Class D felony.

The penalties you could face for a hit-and-run incident depend on the results of the accident. If a hit-and-run only causes property damage, you could be fined up to $250 and sent to jail for 15 days. If someone is seriously injured, you could be fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned for up to four years. Finally, if a hit-and-run accident results in death, you could be jailed for up to seven years and fined up to $5,000.

Other costs of a conviction include;

  • Raised insurance premiums
  • License reinstatement fees
  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Criminal record

Are There Defenses for Hit-And-Run Charges?

There may be legal defenses that a defendant may be able to use to challenge hit-and-run charges. Common defenses for hit-and-run charges include lack of knowledge, mistaken identity, mechanical failure, and fear of personal safety. The viability of a defense depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Consulting a qualified attorney is crucial for personalized advice.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have questions or need help with a criminal case, contact our qualified NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, at 212-732-0002.

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