Leaving the Scene of an Accident
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In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal motor vehicle violation. If you caused the accident while operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could face severe penalties under the law.
There are three types of leaving the scene:
- Leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage: If you were in an accident that caused property damage, you must report information such as your name, license plate number, address, and vehicle registration to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) within 5 days of the accident or you will be charged with leaving the scene. Conviction could result in a fine of up to $200, license suspension of 60 days to one year, and jail time of 2 weeks to 2 years.
- Leaving the scene of an accident that caused personal injury: You could be charged with leaving the scene if you did not report your information to the RMV after causing an accident that led to personal injury. The penalties of conviction could include a fine of $500 to $1,000, license suspension of 1 to 2 years, and jail time of 6 months to 2 years.
- Leaving the scene of an accident that caused death: If you caused an OUI accident that killed another person, which is known as manslaughter by motor vehicle under Melanie's Law, and fled the scene to evade arrest, you could be charged with a felony. If convicted, your sentence could include a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, license suspension of 15 years to a permanent loss of license, and jail time of 5 to 20 years.
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 26 states:
Every person operating a motor vehicle which is involved in an accident in which any person is killed or injured or in which there is damage in excess of one thousand dollars to any one vehicle or other property shall, within five days after such accident, report in writing to the registrar on a form approved by him and send a copy thereof to the police department having jurisdiction on the way where such accident occurred; provided, however, that such police department shall accept a report filed by an owner or operator whose vehicle has been damaged in an accident in which another person has unlawfully left the scene of such accident. Such report shall not be required during the period of incapacity of any person who is physically incapable of making a report. If the operator is not the owner of the vehicle and is physically incapable of making such written report, the owner shall within five days after the accident make such report based on such knowledge as he may have and such information as he can obtain regarding the accident.
The registrar may require any such operator or owner to file a supplementary written report whenever in the opinion of the registrar the original report is insufficient.
The registrar may revoke or suspend the license of any person violating any provision of this section.
The penalties for leaving the scene could be enhanced if you have previous citations on your driving record, especially if you have multiple OUI offenses. It is imperative that you retain the legal guidance of a Massachusetts OUI attorney.
Enlist the Help of Our Firm Today
At our firm, we have defended clients involved in OUI-related cases for numerous years, and we understand the fear and distress that caused you to leave the scene of your accident. The court will prosecute you severely, but we may be able to help you fight your charges. We develop thorough defenses for our clients through careful study of their cases and extensive knowledge of the Massachusetts law. Our clients know that we work tirelessly to protect their rights and defend their freedoms.
Leaving the scene of an accident after operating under the influence is a serious offense, and you must be confident that your legal counsel has the experience and skills needed to advocate for you before the court. You do not have a moment to lose; enlist the advocacy of a strong defense today.
Contact a Massachusetts OUI lawyer from the firm if you have been charged with leaving the scene of an OUI accident.