Westchester County Criminal Defense & Family Law Attorneys
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Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage/Personal Injury Accident

In New York State if a motorist is involved in an automobile accident and does not report that accident it can open the motorist up to criminal prosecution. There are two very different types of charges under the Vehicle and Traffic Law for leaving the scene of an accident without reporting. As white plains felony charges lawyers and traffic violations attorneys we want you to know the different classes of offenses and potential sentences for each.

Leaving the scene of a PROPERTY damage accident without reporting

VTL 600(1) provides that ” Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that damage has been caused to the real property or to the personal property … due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall, before leaving the place where the damage occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, … and give his or her name, residence, including street and number, insurance carrier … and license number to the party sustaining damage, or in case the person sustaining the damage is not present at the place where the damage occurred then he or she shall report the same as soon as physically able to the nearest police station, or judicial officer.”

A violation of VTL 600(1)(a) is a traffic infraction punishable by :

  1. A fine of up to $250;
  2. Up to 15 days in jail; or a 3. Both

Leaving the scene of a PERSONAL INJURY accident without reporting

VTL 600(2)(a) “Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that personal injury has been caused to another person, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall before leaving the place where the said personal injury occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification … to the injured party, if practical, and also to a police officer, or in the event that no police officer is in the vicinity of the place of said injury, then he or she shall report said incident as soon as physically able to the nearest police station or judicial officer.”

The level of the offense and the punishment depends upon if the mororist has ever committed this crime in the past and also the level of injury or death of the party. Leaving the scene of a Personal Injury Accident is a CRIME and ranges from a class “B” misdemeanor to a class “D” felony. The Sentences for Misdemeanors and felony range from fines, probation to jail.

Leaving the scene of a PERSONAL INJURY accident is a fingerprintable offense and a crime. Any conviction will result in a license revocation and the motorist will not be permitted to obtain a conditional license.

In any criminal defense its important to know the classes of misdemeanors and the types of misdemeanor crimes including felonies. Here in this case leaving the scene of a property damage accident is a noncriminal offense while leaving the scene of a personal injury accident is a crime.

If you have any questions how these charges are defended or how they relate to other charges such as driving while intoxicated ( DWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) contact my office for a free consultation.

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