Penalties for "Leaving the Scene of an Accident" in New Jersey
An automobile accident can be a minor hindrance such as a fender bender or as serious as involving major injuries and fatalities. Regardless of the severity of an accident, in the state of New Jersey, it is a crime if a driver leaves the scene of an accident.
Under the re-constructed New Jersey statute 39:4-129, the fines and penalties can be extremely steep. In the case of leaving the scene where an injury is involved, this crime is punishable for up to six months in prison. This is due to the fact that leaving the scene of an accident where an injury has occurred is a 4th degree offense in New Jersey.
The average dollar amount in fines for this crime can range from $500-$1000 for first offenses. Subsequent offenses of this nature can lead to fines in the amount of $2000. An offender who leaves the scene of an accident with an injury can also expect to have their drivers license suspended for up to one year. To show just how serious this state takes this crime, a 2nd offense can result in a lifetime driving suspension. An important fact to consider if leaving the scene of an accident where an injury has occurred. A possible conviction of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle could be a potential charge added to the offender.
In the event that the accident in question involves only vehicle damages, fines may still be extensive. However, potential jail time is lower. This offense is punishable by up to one month in jail. The average cost of fines for leaving the scene of an accident without injury can be as much as $600 and a six month suspension of driving privileges. As far as statute of limitations regarding leaving the scene of an accident, charges must be filed within five years of the said offense.
Leaving the scene of an accident can carry with it a high cost both financially as well as legally. With an injury involved, the stakes are raised even higher against the offender. New Jersey law takes this crime quite seriously. The best course of action is to never leave the scene when an auto accident occurs. Accept responsibility for the situation in which you are involved. It will help avoid serious consequences in the future.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.