Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Toms River, NJ

New Jersey state law makes it illegal to leave the scene of an accident. The guidelines for this law are outlined in state statute 39:4-129 and apply only to the driver of a vehicle. Drivers can be charged with a crime, even if the damage only occurs to the driver's vehicle. The law extends to one car accidents such as hitting a mailbox, utility pole or parked car and accidents involving several vehicles as well. It is necessary for all guidelines to be followed to avoid being charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in NJ

It's important to remember that the extent of damage doesn't matter when determining whether you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. Cases where extensive damage occurs are treated the same as cases with simple scratches or tire scuffs in terms of the law. To make sure you won't be charged with a crime, it is important to follow guidelines outlined in state law.

Examples of penalties that those convicted of leaving the scene of an accident can expect include fines of $2,500 to $5,000 and a jail term of up to 180 days. If someone is severely injured or dies, greater penalties can be instituted by the court of law. If the injured person is also the driver of the vehicle and the only person injured, the judge may decide not impose a prison sentence.

Defense for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Procedures to Follow

To ensure you aren't charged with leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey, you need to follow proper procedures. It's important to realize procedures differ depending on whether people are present at the time of the accident or not. Additionally, these guidelines only apply to drivers. Witnesses and passengers have a moral obligation to provide details regarding the crash, but aren't required to under state law.

Procedures to Follow if Witnesses are Present at the Accident:

  • Stop immediately
  • Park as close to the scene of the accident without obstructing traffic
  • Provide name and address to owner of vehicle or property involved in accident
  • Name, address, driver's license, and registration must be provided to police

Procedures to Follow if no Witnesses are Present at the Accident
  • It is driver's responsibility to locate the owner of property damaged in an accident with no witnesses
  • Notify owner of damaged property
  • Provide name, address to owner

Procedures to Follow if Owner of Damaged Property Can't be Located

  • If the owner of property can't be located, it is the driver's responsibility to leave a written note with name, address, and description of damage
  • Place note in obvious location for owner to find
  • Notify nearest police station
  • Provide owner with information needed to file claim as soon as they are identified

Professional Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, you need to contact an attorney right away. A lawyer can help you protect your driving privileges and your rights. For a free legal consultation contact Daniel Berger, ESQ. at 908-814-2466 to discuss your situation.