What is Considered Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
Leaving the Scene of an Accident offenses penalize motorists who, while operating a motor vehicle on a public way, collides with someone or something and departs without stopping to notify authorities and exchange information. There are two types of this offense: (1) Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Property Damage and (2) Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Personal Injury. These laws serve to financially protect persons who sustain property damage or personal injuries by motorists.
The property damage sufficient for this offense may be damage caused during a collision with another motor vehicle or may be other property such as a telephone pole or privately owned tree that may be damaged in a single-vehicle accident. Property damage of any type, regardless of extent, prompts the duty to stop following the accident. The same holds true for personal injury. An accident may occur resulting in both property damage and personal injuries. In such cases, a motorist may be charged with both types of the offense or its most serious type, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Personal Injury.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident, regardless of type, may have serious consequences to include mandatory jail time. The seriousness of the offense is evaluated by a number of factors to include the nature and type of the property damaged and the extent or value of the damage inflicted. Other factors relating to personal injuries include the number and status of victims and their extent of their injuries. Other non-jail consequences may include restitution and affects or limitations on your driver’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle.
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and need expert legal representation, contact the RI/MA defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.