LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT
In my professional experience, 90% or higher of everyone who leaves the scene has also just left the scene of an OUI! Most judges and prosecutors suspect that people who leave the scene of an accident without stopping and making themselves known did so because they should not have been driving. Thus, even though you might avoid the consequence of a drunk driving prosecution you are still looking at a severe penalty. Keep in mind as well that the registry will take your license away if you are convicted of leaving the scene after property damage, personal injury, or death.
Another consequence of this charge is that police officers more recently have issues immediate threat suspensions eliminating your ability to drive while the case is pending. This is a pretty harsh consequence but one which I try and use to my advantage.
Leaving the Scene of Property Damage: The law states that if you get into an accident with another car or some other type of property and you fail to make known your name, address, and vehicle registration you are guilty of a crime. I recently got into a fender bender with a nice 70-year-old woman. She was at fault and was scared to death when I exchanged information. To sustain a conviction of this offense the prosecutor must prove five things beyond a reasonable doubt. 1) that you operated a motor vehicle, 2) that it was on a public way, 3) that during the course of such operation you collided with or injured in some way another vehicle or property, 4) that you knew that you had done so and 5) that after doing so you failed to stop, give your name, home address, and the registration number of your car. Penalty: Fine of $20 to $200 Jail sentence for between 2 weeks and 2 years.
Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury Not Resulting in Death The law pertaining to this crime is virtually identical to leaving the scene of property damage except that it adds the element of causing injury to another person. Penalty: Fine of $500 to $1,000 Jail sentence for between 6 months and 2 years
Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury Resulting in Death Again, this crime has similar elements to the two crimes referenced above but the penalty portion of the charges is ramped up considerable. The significant difference is that that accident here results in the death of another person and that the defendant must have left the scene in order “to avoid prosecution” or “evade apprehension”. Penalty: Fine of $1,000 to $5,000 state prison sentence of 2 ½ to 10 years or jail for 1 to 2 ½ years There is a minimum mandatory 1-year sentence that must be served.
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I have had tremendous success in the area of my practice and understand what needs to be done in order to increase your chances of obtaining a successful result. If you have questions, please contact me at my office at (508) 791-9001 or by cell phone at (508) 769-7995. You may also e-mail me Michael@criminaldefenseworcester.com or text me. I take great pride is a very quick response time and will promptly schedule a free initial consultation at your convenience. I have also begun to conduct quite a few meetings via FACETIME or SKYPE for those clients who are either out of state or have license issues.