“Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a serious offense in New Jersey. If a car crash results in serious bodily injury, it can lead to criminal charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1.”

Defense Lawyers for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Hackensack, Hoboken, Morristown, & throughout New Jersey

NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Charges 2C:12-1.1

If you are involved in a car accident in New Jersey, you are legally obligated to stop your vehicle. New Jersey law requires drivers to follow certain protocols after car crashes resulting in property damage, injury, or death of another person. Depending on the circumstances of the specific case, leaving the scene of an accident can be considered a criminal offense or a traffic violation. If the accident you were in caused serious bodily injury, you may face criminal charges in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1.

A criminal charge for leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey is classified as a third degree crime, also known as an indictable offense or felony. This degree of crime is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment, in addition to fines and suspension of your driver’s license. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in NJ, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about defending your case.

Travis J. Tormey is a renowned criminal defense attorney who fights on behalf of clients charged with leaving the scene of an accident, assault by auto, carjackingvehicular homicide, manslaughter, and other crimes in New Jersey. In fact, Mr. Tormey has been cited as a legal resource in a number of prominent publications, including The Daily Record and The Bergen Record, as well as the AOL News. With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Middletown, and New Brunswick, the defense team at The Tormey Law Firm serves communities throughout the state, including in Hoboken, North Bergen, Palisades Park, Parsippany, Paramus and Neptune. If you have been arrested for leaving the scene of a car accident in New Jersey, we will thoroughly investigate your case to identify nuances that we can use to achieve the best possible results. For a free consultation with an experienced NJ leaving the scene of an accident lawyer, call (201) 556-1570 now or send us a message.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1

In New Jersey, Leaving the Scene of an Accident offenses can be considered traffic violations or criminal charges, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. Criminal charges for Leaving the Scene of an Accident are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1, “Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.”  It is important to note that a third degree charge for N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1 applies if the accident results in SERIOUS bodily injury.

What is serious bodily injury?

New Jersey law defines “serious bodily injury” as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ (NJSA 2C:11-1).

The Presumption of Non-Incarceration Doesn’t Apply

Unlike typical third degree crimes in New Jersey, the presumption of non-imprisonment does not apply to charges for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1. In other cases involving third degree crimes, a person with no prior criminal record may be considered a good candidate for probation or a diversionary program like Pretrial Intervention (PTI). However, if you’re convicted of leaving the scene after serious injury, you do not get the benefit of this presumption. In other words, you’re required to serve jail time.

New Jersey Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident Criminal Charges

A criminal charge for Leaving the Scene of an Accident resulting in personal injury to another is classified as a third degree crime, which is punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. As mentioned above, these offenses do not entail a presumption of non-incarceration, as do other crimes of the third degree. This means that a defendant convicted of this charge is subject to imprisonment even if he or she has no prior criminal record. Further, penalties imposed in these cases must be in addition to those for criminal charges for assault by auto or vehicular homicide.

Find Representation for Your Leaving the Scene of an Accident Criminal Case in New Jersey

Clearly, criminal charges for Leaving the Scene of an Accident are extremely serious. As such, it is imperative to have an attorney who has experience with these cases serving on your behalf. Contact The Tormey Law Firm anytime for a free legal consultation. We can be reached at (201)-556-1570 or online.

2C:12-1.1 – Knowingly leaving scene of motor vehicle accident resulting in serious bodily injury, third degree crime

According to Section 2C:12-1.1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code:

A motor vehicle operator who knows he is involved in an accident and knowingly leaves the scene of that accident under circumstances that violate the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree if the accident results in serious bodily injury to another person. The presumption of non-imprisonment set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1 shall not apply to persons convicted under the provisions of this section.

If the evidence so warrants, nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude an indictment and conviction for aggravated assault or assault by auto under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.

Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:1-8 or any other provisions of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for aggravated assault or assault by auto under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 and a separate sentence shall be imposed upon each conviction.

Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:44-5 or any other provisions of law, whenever in the case of such multiple convictions the court imposes multiple sentences of imprisonment for more than one offense, those sentences shall run consecutively.

For the purposes of this section, neither knowledge of the serious bodily injury nor knowledge of the violation are elements of the offense and it shall not be a defense that the driver of the motor vehicle was unaware of the serious bodily injury or provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129.



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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

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Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

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Areas we serve

Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

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    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

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    55 Madison Avenue Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

    (908) 336-5008

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