Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injuries
If you are involved in the unfortunate circumstance of an accident that causes injury to another individual, the most important thing to remember is that you need to stop and remain at the scene of the accident. You may, under the stress of the situation, feel tempted to leave. But leaving the scene of an accident that causes personal injury to another is a crime.
Chapter 90, section 24 imposes a duty on individuals who are involved in accidents to stop, and to provide the other individual involved with their name, address, and vehicle registration number. If the other person suffers a personal injury – even if only a minor one – you must wait for medical assistance to arrive and speak to a law enforcement officer. To fail in any portion of this obligation constitutes a criminal offense, commonly known as a “hit and run” or “leaving the scene.”
Under the statute, the prosecutor must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a defendant of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury to another.
First, that the defendant operated a motor vehicle.
Second, that the defendant operated the vehicle on a public street or way. This means any street or area to which the public has access.
Third, that the defendant knowingly collided with or caused injury to another person. The severity of the injury is not relevant, unless it was so small as to not give the defendant notice that he had actually injured the other person.
Fourth, that after the collision or injury, the defendant did not stop and provide his name, home address and registration number of his vehicle. The statute requires that the defendant provide all of this information to either the person injured, or, if not possible, to a police officer at the scene of the accident.
The penalties for a conviction of a hit and run that causes personal injury are a fine between $500 and $1,000, 6 months to 2 years in the House of Correction, and a minimum one year license loss.
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident that caused personal injury to another individual, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. Often, after a thorough investigation of your case, it is possible to have your charges reduced or dismissed. The criminal defense team at the law firm of Altman & Altman has decades of experience tackling leaving the scene charges. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and expert trial lawyers. We work tirelessly to get our clients the results they want.
We have offices in Boston and Cambridge, and we are also happy to meet our clients at any other convenient location. Call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to fully discuss your case and your options. Our lawyers take a client-centered approach to each and every case we handle. This means that we listen to your goals and then we develop a defense strategy to achieve those goals. We understand that facing these charges is a daunting and stressful process, and we will stand by your side every step of the way.