“Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” is a serious traffic violation in Missouri. An experienced traffic law attorney can get it reduced from a 12-point violation to a 0-point infraction.
What Are The Chances You Will Get Caught Leaving The Scene Of An Accident?
In this day and age, security cameras are everywhere, so it’s very likely there will be video evidence showing you leaving the scene of an accident.
Also, any witnesses to the accident can easily take a photo of your license plate with their phone and share it with the police.
Police often track down the fleeing driver at their home or workplace fairly quickly after an accident. In some cases, police tow the driver’s vehicle to the impound lot for an “inventory search” (because it was involved in a crime), and the vehicle owner has to pay a high fine to get their car back.
What Does “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” Mean?
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 for more information about what you are legally required to do when you are involved in an accident.
What Is The Punishment For Misdemeanor Leaving The Scene Of An Accident In Missouri
The maximum penalty for misdemeanor Leaving The Scene Of An Accident (or “Hit & Run”) in Missouri can include some or all of the following:
- 1 year in jail
- $1,000 fine
- 6 to 12 points added to your driving record
- 1-year revocation of driver’s license
A misdemeanor Leaving The Scene Of An Accident ticket issued by a state trooper is a 12-point ticket. If you plead guilty, 12 points will be added to your driving record, and your license will be revoked for 1 year. In addition, you won’t be eligible to get a Limited Driving Privilege (Hardship License) during the year that your license is revoked.
A misdemeanor Leaving The Scene Of An Accident ticket issued by a city or county police officer is a 6-point ticket.
What Is The Punishment For Felony Leaving The Scene Of An Accident In Missouri
The maximum penalty for felony Leaving The Scene Of An Accident is 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine if the accident resulted in:
- Physical injury to another person, or
- Property damage over $1,000, or
- If defendant has a prior conviction for Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
What Happens If You Plead Guilty To Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
If you plead guilty to a ticket for Leaving The Scene Of An Accident, here’s what will happen:
- You will have to appear in court to plead guilty
- The judge will sentence you (this could include jail time)
- 6 to 12 points will be added to your driving record (depending on whether it’s municipal or state court)
- Your home state may revoke your driver’s license for 1 year
- You may not be able to get a hardship license while your license is revoked
Click here to read my previous post for more information about what happens if you plead guilty to Leaving The Scene of an Accident.
How Many Points Will Be Added To Your Driving Record For Leaving the Scene of An Accident
The number of points added to your Missouri driving record for Leaving The Scene Of An Accident depends on whether your ticket was issued by a state trooper or a city/county police officer:
- 12 points if a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer issued the ticket
- 6 points if a municipal or county police officer issued the ticket
Most people want to get their traffic tickets reduced to non-moving violations so they can avoid accumulating points on their driving record. If you accumulate too many points, your license will be suspended or revoked.
- Your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days if you accumulate 8 points within 18 months (for a first-time suspension)
- Your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months
If you hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your Leaving The Scene Of An Accident ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, no points will be added to your driving record.
How Long Does A Ticket For Leaving the Scene of an Accident Stay On Your Driving Record?
If you plead guilty to Leaving the Scene of an Accident, the conviction stays on your Missouri driving record forever if the ticket was issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer (as opposed to a city or county police officer).
What Happens If You Get A Ticket For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident And Your Car Is Not Insured
The State of Missouri can suspend the licenses of both the driver and the owner of the vehicle if you leave the scene of an accident and your vehicle was not insured at the time of the accident.
In addition, the State of Missouri can suspend your driver’s license if you (or your insurance company) fails to pay for the damage you caused to the victim’s vehicle.
What Can An Attorney Do About A Ticket For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
If you have been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, you will need an experienced traffic law attorney to represent you. Your attorney can get your ticket reduced from a 6-point or 12-point ticket to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record.
It is very likely that you won’t have to appear in court if you hire an attorney to represent you. You will have to pay a fine and court costs, and you might also be required to do community service and/or attend driving school.
The outcome of your Leaving The Scene Of An Accident case depends on the answers to the following questions:
- Did you turn yourself in to police, or did they have to track you down?
- Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
- How old are you?
- Do you have a bad driving record?
- Did you or your car insurance company pay for the damage you caused to the vehicle that you hit?
Most traffic ticket lawyers offer a free consultation and can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you. An experienced attorney can also give you an estimate of the outcome of your case, including the amount of the fines and court costs you will have to pay at the conclusion of your case.
For a free consultation about your Leaving The Scene Of An Accident ticket, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected]