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Leaving Scene of Accident and Failure to Report an Accident

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident or failing to report an accident, we can help.  Learn more about traffic violations, and how we can defend you against charges of leaving the scene of an accident, by calling 732-303-7857 for a free consultation.

New Jersey Statute on Leaving the Scene

(a) The driver of any vehicle, knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.  Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.  Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be fined not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000, or be imprisoned for a period of 180 days, or both.  The term of imprisonment required by this subsection shall be imposed only if the accident resulted in death or injury to a person other than the driver convicted of violating this section.

In addition, any person convicted under this subsection shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year from the date of his conviction for the first offense and for a subsequent offense shall thereafter permanently forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State.

(b) The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle, including his own vehicle, or other property which is attended by any person shall immediately stop his vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible, but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.  Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.  Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $400, or be imprisoned for a period of not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense, and for a subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than $400 nor more than $600, or be imprisoned for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days or both.

In addition, a person who violates this subsection shall, for a first offense, forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of six months from the date of conviction, and for a period of one year from the date of conviction for any subsequent offense.

(c) The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage to any vehicle or property shall give his name and address and exhibit his operators license and registration certificate of his vehicle to the person injured or whose vehicle or property was damaged and to any police officer or witness of the accident, and to the driver or occupants of the vehicle collided with and render to a person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying of that person to a hospital or a physician for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that the treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.

In the event that none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under this subsection, and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such accident after fulfilling all other requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, insofar as possible on his part to be performed, shall forthwith report such accident to the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and submit thereto the information specified in this subsection.

(d) The driver of any vehicle which knowingly collides with or is knowingly involved in an accident with any vehicle or other property which is unattended resulting in any damage to such vehicle or other property shall immediately stop and shall then and there locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or other property or, in the event an unattended vehicle is struck and the driver or owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle doing the striking or, in the event other property is struck and the owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall notify the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and in addition shall notify the owner of the property as soon as the owner can be identified and located. Any person who violates this subsection shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(e) There shall be a permissive inference that the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage in the amount of $250.00 or more to any vehicle or property has knowledge that he was involved in such accident.

For purposes of this section, it shall not be a defense that the operator of the motor vehicle was unaware of the existence or extent of personal injury or property damage caused by the accident as long as the operator was aware that he was involved in an accident.

There shall be a permissive inference that the registered owner of the vehicle which was involved in an accident subject to the provisions of this section was the person involved in the accident; provided, however, if that vehicle is owned by a rental car company or is a leased vehicle, there shall be a permissive inference that the renter or authorized driver pursuant to a rental car contract or the lessee, and not the owner of the vehicle, was involved in the accident, and the requirements and penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall be applicable to that renter or authorized driver or lessee and not the owner of the vehicle.

Any person who suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a violation of this section or who suppresses the identity of the violator shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 or more than $1,000.

Amended 1940, c.147; 1967, c.189, s.1; 1977, c.407; 1978, c.180; 1979, c.463, s.1; 1994, c.183, s.1; 2003, c.55, s.1; 2007, c.266, s.1.

39:4-130  Immediate notice of accident; written report.

The driver of a vehicle or street car involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person, or damage to property of any one person in excess of $500.00 shall by the quickest means of communication give notice of such accident to the local police department or to the nearest office of the county police of the county or of the State Police, and in addition shall within 10 days after such accident forward a written report of such accident to the commission on forms furnished by it. Such written reports shall contain sufficiently detailed information with reference to a motor vehicle accident, including the cause, the conditions then existing, the persons and vehicles involved and such information as may be necessary to enable the chief administrator to determine whether the requirements for the deposit of security required by law are inapplicable by reason of the existence of insurance or other circumstances.  The chief administrator may rely upon the accuracy of the information contained in any such report, unless he has reason to believe that the report is erroneous.  The commission may require operators involved in accidents to file supplemental reports of accidents upon forms furnished by it when in the opinion of the commission, the original report is insufficient.  The reports shall be without prejudice, shall be for the information of the commission, and shall not be open to public inspection.  The fact that the reports have been so made shall be admissible in evidence solely to prove a compliance with this section, but no report or any part thereof or statement contained therein shall be admissible in evidence for any other purpose in any proceeding or action arising out of the accident.

Whenever the driver of a vehicle is physically incapable of giving immediate notice or making a written report of an accident as required in this section and there was another occupant in the vehicle at the time of the accident capable of giving notice or making a report, such occupant shall make or cause to be made said notice or report not made by the driver.

Whenever the driver is physically incapable of making a written report of an accident as required by this section and such driver is not the owner of the vehicle, then the owner of the vehicle involved in such accident shall make such report not made by the driver.

In those cases where a driver knowingly violates the provisions of this section by failing to make a written report of an accident, there shall be a permissive inference that the registered owner of the vehiclewhich was involved in that accident was the person involved in the accident; provided, however, if that vehicle is owned by a rental car company or is a leased vehicle, there shall be a permissive inference that the renter or authorized driver pursuant to a rental car contract or the lessee, and not the owner of the vehicle, was the person involved in the accident, and the requirements and penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall be applicable to that renter or authorized driver or lessee and not the owner of the vehicle.

Any person who suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a violation of this section or who suppresses the identity of the violator shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 or more than $1,000.

A written report of an accident shall not be required by this section if a law enforcement officer submits a written report of the accident to the commission pursuant to R.S.39:4-131.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who knowingly violates this section shall be fined not less than $30 or more than $100.

The chief administrator may revoke or suspend the operators license privilege and registration privilege of a person who violates this section.

For purposes of this section, it shall not be a defense that the operator of the motor vehicle was unaware of the existence or extent of personal injury or property damage caused by the accident as long as the operator was aware that he was involved in an accident.

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