Leaving the Scene of an Accident NJSA 39:4-129
“A person can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey for failing to stop or report a car crash resulting in property damage, injury, or death.”
If you have been accused of leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey, it is essential to understand these charges and the penalties you face. In New Jersey, all traffic violations are governed under Title 39. Motor vehicle violations pertaining to Leaving the Scene of an Accident are detailed specifically in N.J.S.A. 39:4-129. According to this statute, it is illegal for a person to knowingly leave the scene of a car accident in New Jersey. Even if you are involved in a single-car crash resulting only in damage to your vehicle, you must stop as close to the accident site as possible and notify the nearest law enforcement agency. In more serious collisions where another person’s property is damaged or someone is injured, the consequences of leaving the scene become more severe.
Travis J. Tormey is an experienced criminal defense attorney who serves on behalf of clients charged with criminal and traffic offenses throughout New Jersey. With offices located in Bergen County, Morris County, Essex County, Monmouth County, and Camden County, the defense team at The Tormey Law Firm appears in Municipal and Superior Courts across the state. With diligence and drive to beat the charges against our clients, we have achieved thousands of successful results in Hackensack, Mahwah, Parsippany, Clifton, New Brunswick, Elizabeth, Paterson, and everywhere in between. If you have been arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, DWI , driving with a suspended license, or reckless driving in New Jersey, contact us now at (201) 556-1570. Consultations are always provided free of charge.
What are the Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in New Jersey?
Leaving the Scene of an Accident offenses are subject to a variety of penalties in New Jersey, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. Specifically, potential punishments are determined by whether the accident resulted solely in damage to a vehicle, or if the injury or death of another individual occurred at the time. The penalties associated with a charge for N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 are outlined in greater detail below.
If it is a first offense for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage only, you may be sentenced to serve up to 30 days in the jail in the county where the offense occurred and to pay a fine ranging from $200.00 to $400.00. You may also have your driver’s license suspended for 6 months and accumulate 2 points on your driver’s license.
If your leaving the scene charge is for a second offense and the accident resulted solely in property damage, the exposure is more extensive. The jail sentence is between 30 and 90 days, the fine ranges from $400.00 to $600.00, and the license suspension is 1 year. However, you will still be subject to 2 points on your driver’s license.
The most serious violations of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 are for accidents resulting in personal injury or death to another person. In these situations, a person convicted may be required to serve up to 180 days in the county jail and to pay a fine of between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00. A license suspension for 1 year applies if its a first offense and permanent license forfeiture occurs for a second offense. A conviction will also result in 8 New Jersey Motor Vehicle points on your driver’s license.
Contact an NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been issued a summons for Leaving the Scene of an Accident under New Jersey Statute 39:4-129, you could be facing serious consequences including a prison term and a period of license suspension. As such, it is imperative to have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact The Tormey Law Firm, LLC. today at (201)-556-1570 for a free consultation. You can also reach out online for more information.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Statute 39:4-129: Action in case of accident
(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 but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. 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. The term of imprisonment required by this subsection shall be imposed only if the accident resulted in death or injury to a person other than the driver convicted of violating this section.
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, but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. 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.
(c) The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage to any vehicle or property shall give his name and address and exhibit his operator’s license and registration certificate of his vehicle to the person injured or whose vehicle or property was damaged and to any police officer or witness of the accident, and to the driver or occupants of the vehicle collided with and render to a person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying of that person to a hospital or a physician for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that the treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.
In the event that none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under this subsection, and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such accident after fulfilling all other requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, insofar as possible on his part to be performed, shall forthwith report such accident to the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and submit thereto the information specified in this subsection.
(d) The driver of any vehicle which knowingly collides with or is knowingly involved in an accident with any vehicle or other property which is unattended resulting in any damage to such vehicle or other property shall immediately stop and shall then and there locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or other property or, in the event an unattended vehicle is struck and the driver or owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle doing the striking or, in the event other property is struck and the owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall notify the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and in addition shall notify the owner of the property as soon as the owner can be identified and located. Any person who violates this subsection shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(e) There shall be a permissive inference that the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage in the amount of $250.00 or more to any vehicle or property has knowledge that he was involved in such accident.