“Hit & Run” – What To Do After Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

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After leaving the scene of an accident, hire an experienced attorney to help you deal with the police and get your “Leaving The Scene” or “Hit & Run” ticket reduced from a 6-point or 12-point ticket to a no-point, non-moving violation, such as “Illegal Parking.”

How Long Will It Take Police To Find You After You Leave The Scene Of An Accident?

Security cameras are everywhere, in parking lots and on public streets, so it doesn’t take long for police to track down the driver after they leave the scene of an accident. It is not unusual for the police to be waiting for you when you get home following a “Hit & Run” incident.

You have committed the offense of “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” if:

  • You were involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury, death, or damage to property, and
  • You were aware of the accident, and
  • You left the scene without stopping to give your name, address, and license number to the driver of the vehicle you hit or to a police officer

Click here to read more about what to do if you are in an accident.

You May Have To Meet With A Police Detective About Your “Hit & Run” Ticket

In some situations, the police officer will come to your home and speak with you there, then give you a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident.” However, it is very likely that a police detective will contact you and ask you to come in to the precinct to meet with them and make a written statement about what happened.

If you had been drinking before you hit a parked car and drove away, you should not admit that to the police. If the accident happened several days ago, there is no way the police can prove you were driving drunk, so the worst they can do is give you a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident.”

You can hire an attorney to represent you when you meet with the detective. However, in most cases, the detective just asks you to make a statement about what happened and then gives you a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident.”

How Many Points Are Added To Your Driving Record For “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” in Missouri?

If your ticket for “Hit & Run” or “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” is being prosecuted in municipal court, 6 points will be added to your driving record if you plead guilty.

If your ticket was issued by a state trooper, that means it’s being prosecuted in state court and it’s a 12-point ticket. If you plead guilty, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year and you won’t be able to get a hardship license (Limited Driving Privilege). Also, a state court conviction for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” will stay on your driving record forever.

Your Driver’s License Can Be Suspended After Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

If your vehicle was not insured when you were involved in a “Hit & Run” accident, the State of Missouri can suspend your driver’s license.

Your license will not be reinstated until you show proof to the Missouri Department of Revenue that you have paid for the damages to the other party.

In addition, if you were driving someone else’s car that was not insured at the time of the accident, the State can suspend the driver’s licenses of both you and the owner of the vehicle.

Jail Time Is Possible If You Leave The Scene Of An Accident In Missouri

The maximum punishment for misdemeanor “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” is a fine of $1,000 and 1 year in jail.

The maximum possible penalty for felony “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” is a fine of $5,000 and 4 years in prison. Your “Leaving the Scene” ticket can be charged as a felony if the following happened:

  • Physical injury occurred,
  • Property damage amounting to more than $1,000 or
  • Defendant has a prior conviction for “Leaving the Scene”

An Attorney Can Get Your “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” Ticket Reduced To A Non-Moving Violation

It is very common for someone to panic and drive away after accidentally hitting someone’s car in a parking lot. At that point, the worst choice you can make is to avoid the police and not respond if a detective tries to contact you. If you refuse to respond, the police can come to your home or workplace and arrest you.

You can consult an experienced attorney before you meet with the police. Then, after the police give you a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident,” your attorney can represent you in court.

In many cases, an attorney can get a ticket for “Leaving The Scene” reduced from a 6-point or 12-point ticket to a non-moving, no-point violation. You will have to pay a fine and court costs, but it is very likely that you won’t have to appear in court.

 

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For a free consultation about your ticket, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected]

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