Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Massachusetts

As a driver in Massachusetts, you have a duty to follow the law and operate your vehicle responsibly. This includes, amongst other things, stopping and exchanging information with the other driver in the event of an accident, as well as reporting the accident to the police in some cases. If you fail to do this, you could face additional charges. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our criminal defense lawyer can help you if you’ve been charged. Reach out today to learn more. 

Defenses Against Being Charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident

When an accident occurs, drivers are required to stop and exchange information if there is property damage or injuries. If there is no one available (e.g. a driver hits a parked vehicle with no occupant), the responsible driver is still liable to report the accident to the police. If you do not stop and exchange license and registration information, you may face charges and penalties.

Because the requirement to stop and exchange information only exists when property damage or injuries are present, one viable defense could be that there were no known injuries or damage. Another defense could be that the driver was unable to stop due to emergency circumstances. An attorney can help you to assess your options and build a defense that makes sense for you. If defending against charges isn’t an advisable course, your attorney may be able to help you strike a plea bargain with the prosecution. 

Leaving the Scene of an Accident: When There’s Property Damage or Injuries

In the event that you leave the scene of an accident in which there is property damage or serious injuries, you could face serious penalties if convicted. The penalties differ depending on whether you left a scene resulting in property damage or a scene resulting in injury.

  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage—A conviction of this offense can result in a fine of up to $200, imprisonment of up to two years, or both fine and imprisonment. 
  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury—If you leave the scene of an accident where another person was injured, you could face a fine of up to $1,000, a mandatory minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment, and the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in deathThe most serious crime in this category occurs when a person leaves the scene of an accident that has resulted in death. In this case, a person is looking at a mandatory minimum sentence of 2.5 years in state prison or one year in jail, as well as a fine ranging from $1,000-$5,000. 

Get Legal Help from an Experienced Professional

If you commit a hit-and-run offense, you could be facing serious penalties and the loss of your license. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, we want to help. Call our law firm directly today at (978) 397-0011 or schedule a consultation using our online intake form.