Leaving the Scene of an Accident in NJ

Hopewell NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyers

With Offices in Trenton and Pennington, New Jersey 

NJ traffic laws require motorists on New Jersey roads to immediately stop their vehicles when they are involved in an accident. However, people don’t always think clearly in the moments immediately following a traffic accident. A car accident can result in a rush of adrenaline and cause fear about the potential consequences. If you drove away after an accident, it was a mistake; but it was a mistake that anyone could make under the circumstances.

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm with lawyers who have more than 40 years of experience in Mercer County, including Hightstown, Hamilton, and Lawrence. Our litigators know exactly what is needed to win at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. We also understand the gravity of a Hit-and-Run Accident charge, which is why we will do whatever it takes to beat your charges. Call KCR now to discuss your case and begin your defense.

Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident in New Jersey

There are two kinds of Leaving the Scene of an Accident offenses. One offense is a traffic violation; the other offense is a criminal offense.

NJ Hit-and-Run: Traffic Violation

Leaving the Scene of an Accident traffic offenses are governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-129. The penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident vary, depending upon the severity of the injuries or property damage and the number of prior offenses.

First Offense – Property Damage Only:

  • Jail: Up to 1 month
  • License Suspension: 6 months
  • Fine: $200–$400
  • Points on License: 2 points

Second Offense – Property Damage Only:

  • Jail: 1–3 months
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • Fine: $400–$600

Additionally, the fines may be doubled if the offense occurred in a Safe Corridor or Construction Zone. The fines can also be doubled if the offense occurred on a road with a designated speed limit of 65 mph.

NJ Hit-and-Run: Criminal Offense Charges

Leaving the Scene of an Accident criminal offense is governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1. It is a crime to knowingly leave the scene of an accident which has resulted in death or serious bodily injury. “Serious bodily injury” means any kind of injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes permanent disfigurement, impairment, or loss of the function of a body part or organ.

Knowledge or awareness of the accident is presumed by law if the accident caused more than $250 in damage. This is a low threshold, which means that NJ prosecutors generally don’t care if you didn’t actually realize you had been involved in an accident when you drove away. Moreover, it won’t matter that you did not realize another person had been injured in the accident. The statute imposes strict liability when a driver leaves the scene of an accident that has caused the death of another person or serious injury to another person.

NJ Hit-and-Run: Criminal Offense Penalties

A criminal charge for Leaving the Scene of an Accident is typically classified as a fourth degree felony and is punishable by up to 18 months in NJ State Prison. However, the penalties may be enhanced if the offender has a prior offense on their record.

First Offense – Injury or Death:

  • Jail: 6–18 months
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • Fine: $2,500–$5,000
  • Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Surcharges: $250/year for 3 years
  • Points on License: 8 points

Second Offense – Injury or Death:

  • Jail: 6–18 months
  • License Suspension: Permanent suspension
  • Fine: $2,500–$5,000
  • MVC Surcharges: $250/year for 3 years

Related Charges: Assault by Auto and Death by Auto

Depending upon the circumstances, you may also be charged with Assault by Auto or Death by Auto. Worse yet, the penalties for these offenses are often imposed consecutively because a conviction for Leaving the Scene of an Accident does not merge with a conviction for Assault by Auto or Death by Auto. This means that you could end up spending a very long time behind bars if you are convicted.

Contact a Trenton NJ Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney

The attorneys at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are ready to fight your charges. Whether you were cited for a traffic violation or charged with a criminal offense, we can protect your legal rights and help you avoid the most serious consequences of a conviction for Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Call or email us today to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Trenton or Pennington, NJ.

Contact Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson

The experienced lawyers you can trust. We focus on success and get results. That’s why we’ve been trusted by clients for over 40 years.

Let us help you navigate your legal challenges.
Call (609) 528-2596 or (215) 337-4915 or send us an email. We're here when you need us.