Leaving the Scene of an Accident in New Jersey
Title 39:4-129 and Title 2C:12-1.1
Paterson, New Jersey, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Without Personal Injury Attorney
In New Jersey, drivers involved in an automobile accident are required by New Jersey law to stop and exchange personal and insurance information. In cases involving injuries, a driver must attempt to render aid to those who need it. A violation of Leaving the Scene of an Accident (N.J.S.A. 39:4-129) is a serious offense in the State of New Jersey.
New Jersey prosecutes leaving the scene of an accident under two statutes: one as a traffic violation (Title 39) and one as a criminal act (Title 2C). A person who leaves an accident in which people are injured or killed can be charged with both.
N.J.S.A. 39:4-129(b): Leaving the scene of an accident without Personal Injury
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.
Passaic County Leaving the Scene of an Accident without Injury and Property Damage Lawyer
When a person leaves the scene of an accident with no injuries—i.e., there is only property damage—that person is charged with a traffic violation under N.J.S.A. 39:4-129. The penalties are as follows:
Jail: For a first offense, drivers can go to jail for up to 30 days upon conviction for leaving the scene of an accident involving no injuries. An individual convicted of a second or subsequent offense may be incarcerated for not less than 30 days, but not more than 90 days.
Fines: Leaving the scene of an accident involving only property damage carries a penalty of $200 to $400 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense raises the fine to $400 to $600.
License Suspension: For accidents with only property damage, a driver who leaves the scene faces a mandatory 6-month loss of driver's license.
Surcharge: New Jersey imposes a surcharge of $450 on drivers who accumulate six points on their license. An additional $75 is imposed for each point over six. This surcharge is in addition to the fine.
Points: New Jersey drivers will receive 2 points for leaving the scene of an accident with no injuries.
Passaic County Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injury Lawyer
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in NJ (Injuries or Death)
When a person leaves the scene of an accident in which one or more persons are hurt or killed, the penalties increase significantly. In addition, the person will be charged with both the traffic offense (39:4-129) and the criminal offense (2C:12-1.1).
These penalties are as follows.
Jail/Prison: Conviction for the traffic violation carries a sentence of up to 180 days. The criminal charge can be a third-degree indictable offense (felony) that carries a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years if there is serious bodily injury is involved, or a secondary degree indictable offense that carries a prision sentence of 5 to 10 years if the accident results in death.
License Suspension: For accidents with injuries or fatalities, leaving the scene means a one-year drivers license suspension.
Fines: Under the traffic violation, the fine for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury or death is between $2,500 to $5,000. The criminal offense carries a fine of up to $15,000 for a 3rd degree offense and up to $150,000 for a 2nd degree offense.
Surcharge: Due to the number of points assigned to the traffic offense for a hit-and-run with injuries, drivers can expect to pay a surcharge of at least $600, in addition to the fines.
Points: New Jersey assigns 8 points for leaving the scene of an accident in which someone is hurt or killed under the traffic offense statute.