Being involved in any kind of car accident is a frightening experience. Your adrenaline is pumping, and whether you are hurt or not it is normal to momentarily enter panic mode. It’s definitely not the best time for decision making.Charged with a crime in New Jersey? Please call (800) 673-3656
I’ve heard countless stories by people accused of hit and run who say they didn’t know what they were doing when they left the scene of an accident. Chalk it up to the rush of the accident but unfortunately, that won’t stop the DA from filing criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident.
I’ve also had the chance to represent clients who fled the scene because they were scared. Maybe they didn’t have insurance or had a warrant out for their arrest, or are worried they might have been arrested for drunk driving.
Of course, it is also very possible to be accused of hit and run mistakenly. If someone else borrowed your car, and they later tracked you down by your license plate, you could find yourself falsely accused, when you are completely innocent.
Whatever happened, and regardless of the why, you find yourself accused of hit and run charges in New Jersey. I know you have have many questions about the case and what it means, what could happen to you, and what you can do about it. That’s where I can help.
Duty to Stop in a New Jersey Hit and Run
When you are involved in a vehicle accident, you are required to stop. Whether anyone was hurt or not, you must stop at the earliest convenience and go back to the scene. Once there, you wait for the officials to come and make a report of the accident.
If someone is hurt, you can help by calling the ambulance or taking them to the hospital. The law requires you help provide “reasonable assistance.”
Failure to follow through on your duty to stop and those requirements associated with it are what will land you criminal charges.
New Jersey Hit & Run Charges
The charges you face and the potential penalty under New Jersey law for leaving the scene of an accident depend on the circumstances of accident itself. The more serious the accident was, the more serious your charges will be.
If the accident caused injury or death, you could face:
- up to 180 days in jail,
- a one year driver’s license suspension,
- and fines reaching $5,000.
If the accident caused only vehicle damage, you could face:
- up to 30 days in jail,
- six month driver’s license suspension,
- and fines reaching $400.
(This applies even if the vehicle is unattended).
Ref: NJ Stat. §39:4-129
As with many criminal charges, if you have an old hit and run conviction on your record, your penalty for this charge will be multiplied.
In addition to criminal charges and the effect of a suspended driver’s license, a hit and run conviction can increase your insurance rates or cause you to lose your car insurance altogether.
When facing charges as serious as this, you need a criminal defense attorney who is both aggressive and dedicated. You need someone who understands the importance of individualized attention, and will fight to protect you and save your license.
While I have defended numerous cases like these, I know each case is different. I am interested in learning about the specifics of your case and helping you to get the best possible results on your day in court.
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