Leaving the Scene of a Non-Injury Accident (NJSA 39:4-129(b))
Leaving the scene of an accident (commonly referred to as “hit-and-run”) is treated differently under New Jersey traffic law depending on whether the accident resulted in an injury or not. The latter is already a fairly serious offense, with a $200 to $400 fine, 30 days’ imprisonment, and a six-month license suspension, but the former is among the most serious traffic offenses there are, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, and a one-year license suspension.
What the Law Says About Leaving a Non-Injury Accident: NJSA 39:4-129(b)
NJSA 39:4-129(b) says that a driver involved in an accident resulting in damage to an attended vehicle or other property “shall immediately stop his vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible” and must stay at the scene of the accident until giving the other driver or the property owner his name and address and showing his driver’s license and vehicle registration.
If the driver hits an unattended car, he must leave a note in a conspicuous place on the car giving his name and address and the name and address of the vehicle’s owner. If the driver damages property other than a car, he must notify the nearest police station, as well as the owner of the property as soon as the owner is identified.
Fines and Penalties
A person who pleads guilty to or is convicted of leaving the scene of a non-injury accident will be fined between $200 and $400, imprisoned up to 30 days, or both for a first offense. A person who subsequently pleads guilty to or is convicted of an additional New Jersey hit-and-run offense will be fined between $400 and $600, imprisoned between 30 and 90 days, or both.
In addition, a driver will have his license suspended for six months following a first-time New Jersey hit-and-run offense and one year following any subsequent offenses.
MVC and Insurance Points
A driver who pleads guilty to or is convicted of violating NJSA 39:4-129(b) will have two points added to his driving record by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Having 12 or more points on your driving record will result in your license being suspended, and accumulating six or more points in a three-year period will result in a $150 surcharge, plus $25 for each point above six.
A guilty plea or conviction will also get you two “insurance eligibility points,” which will result in an increased insurance premium. Accumulating enough points may also make insurers less likely to cover you at all.
A New Jersey Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help
If you have been ticketed for a non-injury hit-and-run, you are facing serious penalties, including jail time and a loss of your license. Contact New Jersey traffic lawyer Dan Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 to lean how he can put his years of experience to work for you.