Car accident tickets such as “Following Too Close” or “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” can be reduced to a non-moving violation that won’t affect your driving record. These and other car accident tickets, such as “Reckless Driving” or “Careless & Imprudent Driving” are common tickets that police issue to drivers involved in an accident in Missouri.
What To Do If You Get Into An Accident in Missouri
If you are involved in an accident in Missouri, you are required by law to do the following:
- Stop and call the police immediately to report the accident.
- Call an ambulance if anyone is injured.
- Move your car to the side of the road if necessary to avoid being hit by oncoming cars.
- Warn oncoming traffic by using flares, your car’s hazard lights, or a flashlight if the accident happens at night.
- Exchange information with the other driver (name, address, vehicle identification, and car insurance information).
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident until a police officer gives you permission to leave. Otherwise, you risk getting a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident.”
Click here for more information from the Missouri Department of Revenue website about what to do when involved in an accident.
What To Do If You Are Involved In An Accident And Your Car Is Not Insured
If you get into an accident while driving a car that is not insured, the State of Missouri can suspend your driver’s license. You will need to contact the other driver and make arrangements to pay for the damages to the other driver’s vehicle, either by lump sum payment or by entering into an installment agreement and start making payments.
Anyone involved in an accident in which someone did not have insurance will need to file a Missouri Motor Vehicle Accident Report.
How Many Points Will Be Added To Your Driving Record For a Car Accident Ticket?
Here is a list of the most common tickets issued when an accident is involved, including the number of points assessed on your driving record:
- Following Too Close – 2 to 3 points
- Careless & Imprudent Driving – 2 to 4 points
- Reckless Driving – same as Careless & Imprudent Driving
- Failure to Yield – 2 to 3 points
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident (“Hit & Run”) – 6 to 12 points
PLEASE NOTE: The judge can assess additional points when a moving violation results in an accident.
What Happens If You Plead Guilty to “Leaving the Scene of an Accident”?
If you plead guilty to a state violation of “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run”:
- 12 points will be added to your driving record,
- 1-year revocation of your driver’s license, and
- You will NOT be eligible for a hardship license (Limited Driving Privilege)
If you plead guilty to a municipal ordinance violation of “Leaving the Scene” or “Hit & Run”:
- 6 points will be added to your driving record, and
- You WILL be eligible to apply for a hardship license (Limited Driving Privilege)
It’s a state violation if your ticket was issued by a Missouri state trooper and your case is being prosecuted in circuit court. Your ticket is a municipal ordinance violation if it was issued by a city police officer and your case is being prosecuted in a municipal court.
What Is the Maximum Punishment for a “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” Ticket?
The maximum potential penalty for a class A misdemeanor “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” charge is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
According to Missouri’s law regarding “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” tickets, the charge is a class E felony with a maximum penalty of 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
- Defendant has a prior conviction for “Leaving the Scene”
If the accident resulted in a death, it is considered a class D felony.
How to Fight Car Accident Tickets
You can hire a traffic law attorney to get your “Leaving the Scene of an Accident,” “Following Too Close,” “Reckless Driving,” or other car accident tickets reduced to a non-moving violation that won’t affect your driving record.
The outcome of your case depends on the following:
- How bad is your driving record?
- How old are you?
- Did you behave politely toward the police officer?
- Did you flee the scene of the accident?
- Was anyone injured in the accident?
- Was your vehicle insured?
- Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
It is very likely that you will not have to appear in court if you have an attorney representing you for your car accident tickets, and the Prosecutor will give you at least 30 days to pay the fine and court costs. If traffic school or community service is required, most courts will give the defendant additional time to complete it.
If you need help with your car accident ticket, call St. Louis criminal defense & traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected] for a free consultation and a flat-fee price quote for legal representation.