New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(1): Leaving scene of an incident without reporting- property damage

In New York if you are involved in a car accident where there is property damage, damage to an animal or physical injury, you are required to exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle involved or contact law enforcement. Doing so ensures that the police, insurance companies and any other company or agency involved will have the correct information so that the accident can be properly resolved. If you have been involved in an accident and you leave the scene, you may be charged with hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(1) if you know were involved in a traffic collision or soe other type of traffic incident and you know or should have known that there was property damage, it is against the law to leave the scene of the incident before giving the following information to the other person involved in the accident or to a police officer:

  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. Proof of insurance, including the carrier's name and effective dates of the police
  4. Your license number
Example

Emily was driving down a street in the early morning. Her phone, which was sitting on the passenger seat, beeped. Emily glanced down at the phone. As she did so she sideswiped a parked car. Emily stopped and got out of her car. She noticed damage to both her car and the parked car. After looking up and down the street and seeing no one, Emily decided to just go home. However, a pedestrian did observe the incident and quickly snapped a photograph of Emily's license plate. Emily could be charged with leaving scene of an incident without reporting as it was clear that she realized that there was property damage both to her car and the car she hit.

Related Offense
  1. Leaving scene of an incident without reporting- personal injury: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(2)
  2. Leaving scene of injury to certain animals without reporting: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 601
Defenses

In order to be convicted of leaving scene of an incident without reporting, the prosecutor must show that you knew or should have known that there was property damage. If the circumstances were such that you did not realize you hit another vehicle or some other object, or that you caused property damage, then such a charge would not be appropriate.

Sentence

Leaving scene of an incident without reporting is classified as a traffic infraction. If you are found to have violated this provision, you will be required to pay a fine of up to $250 as well as spending up to 15 days in jail.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(1): Leaving scene of an incident without reporting- property damage
  1. Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that damage has been caused to the real property or to the personal property, not including animals, of another, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall, before leaving the place where the damage occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, and give his or her name, residence, including street and number, insurance carrier and insurance identification information including but not limited to the number and effective dates of said individual's insurance policy, and license number to the party sustaining the damage, or in case the person sustaining the damage is not present at the place where the damage occurred then he or she shall report the same as soon as physically able to the nearest police station, or judicial officer.
  2. It shall be the duty of any member of a law enforcement agency who is at the scene of the accident to request the said operator or operators of the motor vehicles, when physically capable of doing so, to exchange the information required hereinabove and such member of a law enforcement agency shall assist such operator or operators in making such exchange of information in a reasonable and harmonious manner. A violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars or a sentence of imprisonment for up to fifteen days or both such fine and imprisonment.
New York Leaving Scene of a Incident Without Reporting Lawyer

Even though leaving scene of an incident without reporting where there is property damage is not a crime but a traffic infraction, the consequences of being convicted of this offense are still significant in that you may have to spend 2 weeks in jail. In addition, points will be added to your driving record leading to an increase in your insurance rates and possible suspension of your license. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with crimes such as leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault, and vehicular manslaughter. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of traffic offenses in the following locations:

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