Traffic Accident Defense Lawyers in Ocean County, New Jersey
Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a very grave traffic violation in the State of New Jersey. To illustrate its severity, you should understand that it is punishable by loss of license, jail time, DMV points, a permanent record on one’s driver’s abstract, and hefty fines. An experienced traffic violation defense attorney can and will often alleviate these consequences or, facts permitting, even help to avoid them altogether. The attorneys at the Law Offices of William Proetta have successfully defended against a wide array of municipal court charges and motor vehicle tickets for their clients. Furthermore, our attorneys represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Bricktown, Jackson, Seaside Heights, Manchester, Island Heights, Point Pleasant Beach and Lakewood. It is our goal for every one of our clients who face leaving the scene of an accident charges, to achieve dismissal of charges so that they can avoid license suspension or points on their record. If you or a loved one has been charged with or arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, contact our office at (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation with an experienced Ocean County defense attorney.
New Jersey Leaving the Scene of an Accident Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-129
Charges for leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey will either be adjudicated as 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 Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Causing Damage Only)
• $200 to $400 fine
• Up to thirty (30) days in jail
• Six (6) months license suspension
Second or Subsequent Leaving the Scene of an Accident Offense (Causing Damage Only)
• $400 to $600 fine
• Thirty (30) to Ninety (90) days in jail
• One (1) year license suspension
Leaving the Scene when an 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
What Happens with DWI and Leaving an Accident Scene
Some hit and run accidents involve a driver who is intoxicated. If you were driving drunk and then fled the scene of an accident, you can expect to face multiple charges for both leaving the scene and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Although DWI charges are usually classified as traffic offenses in New Jersey, one exception to this is when the drunk motorist was involved in an accident that caused bodily injury or death. Not only can you expect to face criminal charges for leaving the scene, but you may also face charges for Driving While Intoxicated and assault by auto or vehicular homicide (death by auto). Beyond that, a conviction on either charge is likely to result in enhanced penalties because causing an accident while drunk is considered an aggravating factor when it comes to sentencing.
Contact a Lacey Township NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyer for Answers
As provided in the above statute and chart, the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are quite severe and will vary in complexity depending upon the alleged circumstances of the accident. Automobile accidents and collisions occur in many ways and the resulting damage can vary from a scratched fender of negligible consequence to tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, the fault of an accident is often at issue. Our previous clients have frequently not even realized that they hit another vehicle, leading to a surprising summons. Other times, our clients have thought that it was OK to leave the scene because there was little or no visible damage. Finally, in our experience, others have panicked, making the split second decision to drive away in order to avoid consequences only to receive a summons in the following days. Regardless of the specifics surrounding your leaving the scene of an accident charge; our lawyers will address your particular facts and aggressively defend your case and seek a dismissal of your charges. Contact us today at (848) 238-2100 to speak with an experienced Ocean County 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 and build a case strategy customized to meet your needs.
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. All major credit cards are accepted.