Adept Handling Of Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Cases
When you are in a motor vehicle accident in New York, you must stop at the scene of the accident so that you can exchange relevant information with the driver of the other motor vehicle or vehicles. In the event the person causing the damage leaves the scene of the accident immediately after it occurs — such as after hitting a parked vehicle or someone’s real property like a house or fence — then he or she is required by law to report the incident as soon as they are physically able to the nearest police station or police officer.
This is the law, whether the accident causes damage to a person or to real property. To simply leave the scene of the accident will lead to your arrest if the police have information leading to you as the driver of the vehicle that was involved in the accident but who left the scene of the accident without reporting it.
For example, a driver is feeling very tired and falls asleep behind the wheel and proceeds to sideswipe several parked vehicles. The driver of that vehicle looks around and does not see anyone and decides to leave the scene of the accident. Unbeknownst to the driver, someone is standing behind a nearby building and uses his or her cellphone to take a photo of the car and its license plate. Technology has dramatically changed the way an incident can be recorded. The person who recorded the incident reports it to the police, and within 24 hours the driver of the vehicle that left the scene of the accident will get a telephone call or a visit from a detective who is assigned to the case. Even though this would only be a traffic infraction and not a misdemeanor or felony offense, an arrest is certain to follow. You do not want this to happen to you.
Whatever the circumstances, the consequences are serious. It is in your best interests to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to avoid making your circumstances worse. Contact The Law Office of Luke Scardigno, in Queens, at your earliest convenience.
The Consequences Of Leaving The Scene
There are other sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law with respect to leaving the scene of an accident. The severity of the offense, and the amount of the fines and length of possible jail time, change with the specific elements of each offense. If an injury occurs to a person or a certain type of animal listed in the statute, leaving the scene is treated more seriously. You can read all about this New York law in Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 600. It is possible to be charged with leaving the scene of an accident as a misdemeanor or a felony offense under the circumstances outlined in the law.
There are also situations when the owner of the car is not the one who actually was involved in the accident and left the scene. That owner may be the parent, family member, or friend of the person who was using the vehicle at the time of the accident. In this case, the owner knows who was using the car and faces the dilemma of whether to tell the detective who that person was, or to play hardball in the investigation. This is a very difficult situation in which to be involved.
Usually, if there is no serious physical injury to a person in a leaving the scene incident, and just property damage is involved, as long as the driver has no prior criminal convictions and surrenders voluntarily to the charge, the driver will receive a desk appearance ticket (DAT). This will avoid being held for a Criminal Court arraignment before an NYC criminal court judge, which can take up to 24 hours on a busy day in the city’s criminal justice system. That is the benefit of being issued a DAT, rather than being held for an arraignment.
Contact An Experienced Criminal Law Attorney In Queens Today
If you have been contacted by a detective or a police officer, or have been arrested for an incident involving leaving the scene of an accident (VTL Section 600), you should contact a lawyer who has handled these types of cases in the past and is familiar with their technicalities. At the Law Office of Luke Scardigno, you will deal directly with me in handling this stressful event in your life.
You can contact me by calling 718-414-6186. You can also contact our office online to schedule a free and immediate initial consultation.