How to Get A “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” Ticket Fixed

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

You can hire an attorney to get a Leaving the Scene of an Accident ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record.

What Is “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident”?

“Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” or “Hit & Run” means the driver did the following:

  • Driver was involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury, death, or damage to property, and
  • Driver was aware of the accident, and
  • Driver left the scene without stopping to call police

Exchanging your insurance information with the victim and then leaving without calling the police can still be considered “Leaving the Scene of an Accident.”

In addition to the usual car crash, police also consider the following to be accidents:

  • Sideswiping an unoccupied parked car
  • Knocking over a neighbor’s mailbox
  • Tapping the bumper of a car in a parking lot

You can go to the Missouri Department of Revenue website for more information about what you are legally required to do when you are involved in an accident.

What To Do If You Leave The Scene Of An Accident?

If you are involved in an accident, Missouri law says you must stop and call the police to report it. However, it is common for people to panic and drive home after an accident, instead of stopping to call the police and making sure the victim is o.k.

Here’s what you can do if you get into an accident and leave the scene:

  • If you leave the scene of an accident, call the police as soon as possible and tell them what happened.
  • The police officer will ask you to come in to the police station and write out a statement describing what happened.
  • The police officer will give you a ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident.”
  • After you receive the ticket, you can hire a lawyer to get the ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction such as “Illegal Parking” or “Littering.”

If you hire an attorney to represent you for your ticket, you won’t have to appear in court, but you will have to pay a fine and court costs. You will also have to provide proof that either you or your insurance company paid for the damages that you caused.

Will You Get Caught If You Leave The Scene and Don’t Report The Accident?

After leaving the scene of an accident, you could just do nothing and hope no one saw you. However, you should keep in mind that there are cameras everywhere– in parking lots and store fronts, and on the front porches of people’s homes. A witness to the accident may have taken a photo of your license plate with their phone and shared it with the police.

Police often track down the fleeing driver very soon after the 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 fee to get their car back.

If you turn yourself in to police, the most likely outcome is that they will give you a ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident.” Then you can hire an attorney to get the ticket fixed. But if you flee the scene and someone reports you to police, it could be more expensive to resolve. Your behavior makes you look worse than if you had confessed, and the Prosecutor may be less willing to negotiate a favorable plea bargain in your case.

An accident is unintentional, but what you do afterward makes a difference in the outcome. It is better to admit what you did and get your ticket fixed than to end up with a conviction for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident.”

How Long Does A Conviction For Leaving The Scene of An Accident Stay On Your Driving Record?

A conviction for Leaving the Scene of an Accident stays on your Missouri driving record forever if the ticket was issued by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer.

Penalty For Misdemeanor Leaving The Scene Of An Accident In Missouri

The maximum penalty for misdemeanor Leaving The Scene Of An Accident 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

How Many Points Are Added To Your Driving Record For Leaving the Scene of An Accident?

The number of points added to your Missouri driving record for a Hit & Run ticket depends on who issued your ticket:

  • 12 points if a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer issued the ticket
  • 6 points if a municipal or county police officer issued the ticket

If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, the State of Missouri will suspend or revoke your driver’s license.

  • 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 law attorney to get your Leaving The Scene Of An Accident ticket “fixed” (reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation), no points will be added to your driving record.

You can contact the Missouri Department of Revenue (Driver’s License Bureau) at (573) 751-4475 to find out how many points you currently have on your driving record.

Click here to read my previous post for more information about what happens if you plead guilty to Leaving The Scene of an Accident.

Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Can Result In Driver’s License Suspension

The State of Missouri can suspend your driver’s license if you are involved in an accident and you or your insurance company fails to pay for the damages that you caused.

In addition, 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.

How To Pay For The Damages When You Are Involved In An Accident

If your vehicle was insured at the time of the accident, your insurance company will pay for the victim’s damages.

If your vehicle was not insured when you were involved in the accident, it is your responsibility to pay for the damages. You will have to contact the victim’s insurance company and negotiate a payment agreement with them. The Missouri Department of Revenue (Driver’s License Bureau) has a sample Installment Agreement that you can use if you are dealing with the victim personally, rather than the victim’s insurance company.

You must obtain proof that the victim’s damages were paid for, or else your attorney won’t be able to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation.

An Attorney Can Get Your Leaving The Scene of An Accident Ticket Fixed

If you have been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident or Hit & Run, you can hire a traffic law attorney to represent you. An experienced 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.

In most case, 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 confess to police, or did they have to track you down?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • How old are you?
  • How many other accidents have you had?
  • Was the victim physically injured?
  • How serious was the property damage?
  • Have the victim’s damages been paid for?

You can request a free consultation with a traffic ticket lawyer to discuss your case. They can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you. They should also be able to give you an estimate of the outcome of your case, including the amount of the fines and court costs you will have to pay to the court.

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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]

Driving Without Insurance Can Cause Your Driver’s License To Be Suspended

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Driving without insurance can cause your driver’s license to be suspended if you get into an accident and don’t pay for the damages that you caused.

This applies even if you were driving someone else’s car and didn’t know the car was not insured.

What To Do If You Get Into An Accident While Driving Without Insurance

Here’s what to do if you get into an accident in Missouri while driving a car that is not insured:

  • Move your car to the side of the road to avoid being hit by oncoming cars
  • Call an ambulance if you think anyone has been injured
  • Call the police to report the accident
  • Turn on your car’s hazard lights, or use flares or a flashlight to warn oncoming traffic
  • Exchange information with the other driver, including your name, address, and vehicle identification
  • Don’t leave the scene of the accident until a police officer gives permission, or else you risk getting a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
  • File a Missouri Motor Vehicle Accident Report
  • Contact the victim’s insurance company to make arrangements to pay for the damages that you caused

The Missouri Department of Revenue website has more detailed information about what to do if you are involved in an accident.

How Long Will Your Driver’s License Be Suspended If You Don’t Pay For Damage To The Car That You Hit?

If you don’t pay for the property damage that you caused when you got into an accident, the state of Missouri will suspend your driver’s license. This is not a temporary suspension. Your license will remain suspended until you pay for the damages.

You can pay for the damages in one lump sum, or you can sign a settlement agreement with the victim’s insurance company and pay off the total amount in monthly installment payments.

Some people choose to deal with the victim personally, without involving the insurance company. Click here to see the Installment Agreement form provided on the Missouri Department of Revenue (Driver License Bureau) website.

How To Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated If It Is Suspended After An Accident

To get your license reinstated after a suspension caused by your failure to pay for damages resulting from an accident, you must do the following:

  • Provide the state of Missouri with Form SR-22 to prove that you purchased liability insurance (You will get the Form SR-22 from your insurance agent after you purchase the insurance policy.)
  • Pay a reinstatement fee to the Missouri Department of Revenue
  • Provide proof that you paid for the damages to the vehicle that you hit (Proof of payment can be a receipt signed by the victim, or a copy of the installment agreement between you and the victim’s insurance company)

For more information, go to the Missouri Department of Revenue website to find out how to get your license reinstated after a suspension caused by failure to pay for damages. Scroll down and you will see the information listed next to “Motor Vehicle Accident Judgment – Missouri.” Or you can call the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 751-4475.

How Many Points Will Be Added To Your Driving Record For Traffic Tickets Involving A Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident and your vehicle is not insured, the police officer could issue any of the following tickets:

  • Failure to Yield – 2 to 3 points
  • Following Too Close – 2 to 3 points
  • Careless & Imprudent Driving – 2 to 4 points
  • Reckless Driving – 2 to 4 points
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident or “Hit & Run” – 6 to 12 points
  • Speeding – 2 to 3 points
  • Driving Without Insurance, No Insurance, or Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility – 4 points

The number of points assessed for each ticket depends on whether your case is prosecuted in municipal court or circuit court. In general, if the accident occurs on a highway and a state trooper issues the ticket, your case will be prosecuted in circuit court. If the accident happened on a city street and a city police officer issues the ticket, your case will be prosecuted in municipal court.

If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension. Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.

Click here to see the Missouri Department of Revenue list of traffic tickets and points assessed for all traffic violations.

To find out how many points you currently have on your driving record, call the Missouri Department of Revenue (Driver License Bureau) in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4475.

How Can An Attorney Help If You Get Into A Car Accident While Driving Without Insurance?

You can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your car accident ticket reduced to a non-moving violation like “Illegal Parking” or “Littering” so points won’t be added to your driving record.

If you have an experienced traffic law attorney representing you, it is very likely you won’t have to appear in court.

Your attorney can also help you obtain a copy of the accident report. The accident report will give you the name of the victim and their insurance company. You will have to contact the victim’s insurance company to make arrangements to pay for the damages that you caused.

What If You Don’t Pay For The Damages You Caused In A Car Accident?

As discussed previously in this post, if you get into an accident and you (or your insurance company) fails to pay for the property damage you caused, the state of Missouri will suspend your driver’s license until you pay.

If you don’t contact the victim’s insurance company to pay for the damages you caused, eventually they will contact you. However, it may take a while, which will delay the resolution of your case. That’s why many drivers prefer to contact the victim’s insurance company immediately following the accident.

“Driving Without Insurance” or “Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibility” Tickets Can Be Reduced To A No-Point Ticket

When you get into an accident and your car is not insured, the police officer will issue a 4-point “No Insurance” ticket. The wording on the ticket will be either “Driving Without Insurance,” “No Proof of Insurance,” or “Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibility.”

An attorney can get your 4-point “No Insurance” ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction such as “Illegal Parking” or “Littering” that won’t cause points to be added to your driving record. To obtain this result, you will have to provide your attorney with proof that you purchased car insurance.

What To Do If You Get A Ticket For “Driving Without Insurance” And You Don’t Own A Car?

If you receive a “No Insurance” ticket but you don’t currently own a car, you will have to buy “Non-Owner’s” or “Non-Driver’s” insurance before your attorney can get your “No Insurance” ticket reduced. You can call any car insurance company to get a price quote for this type of insurance.

What Happens If You Leave The Scene Of An Accident?

It is very common for someone driving without insurance to leave the scene of an accident because they panic or fear the consequences if they stay around.

After leaving the scene of an accident, the police will usually track you down fairly quickly at your home. If you refuse to come to the door to speak to them, they can tow your vehicle if they positively identify it as having been involved in the accident.

Or the officer may call and ask you to come to the police station to write out a statement about what happened. In most cases, after you make your statement, the police officer will issue a ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (also called “Hit & Run”).

If police haven’t contacted you yet, you can call the police station in the city or county where the accident occurred and tell them what happened. After you make your written statement and receive the ticket, the victim’s insurance company will eventually contact you to negotiate a settlement agreement to pay for the damages that you caused.

Points and Penalties For Pleading Guilty To “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” In Missouri

If you get a ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” and you plead guilty as charged, 6 to 12 points will be added to your driving record. The number of points varies depending on whether your case is prosecuted in municipal court or state circuit court.

A conviction for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” will stay on your driving record forever if it was a state violation (it occurred on a state highway and was prosecuted in circuit court).

If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, the state of Missouri will revoke your license for 1 year.

The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” ticket is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

How To Get A Ticket For “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” Reduced To A Non-Moving Violation

An experienced traffic law attorney can get your ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” reduced to a no-point ticket, such as “Illegal Parking” or “Littering.”

The outcome of your case will depend on the following:

  • How bad is your driving record?
  • What is the amount of property damage?
  • Were personal injuries involved?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?

Your attorney can evaluate your case and give you a price quote for legal representation. They can also give you an estimate of the fine and court costs that you will have to pay.

If you are required to attend traffic school or do community service, your attorney will tell you how to register for the class, and give you suggestions for where to do the community service.

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