Currently, there are two offences associated with drivers who failed to fulfil their obligations after being involved in an accident. The first one is fail to report an accident and the second one – fail to remain at the scene of an accident. While both of them are considered as major violations, the latter also can be treated as a criminal charge.
Today we’ll talk about the failure to report offence.
The Highway Traffic Act, section 199(1) states that every person in charge of a car, being involved in a collision is required to report the accident to the nearest collision reporting center forthwith and provide particulars about an incident.
If property damage or personal injuries do not exceed $2,000 reporting is not obligatory. And here is the trick. Sometimes people underestimate the extent of damage and actual amount can be much bigger than they thought. And, as a result, they may get fine, demerit points and even more serious consequences.
Hence, if charged with fail to report an accident, we do not recommend to pay the ticket or to go to the court without professional legal consultation.
Penalties for failing to report an accident:
- 3 demerit points;
- $85 fine;
Despite the fact that demerit points will stay on your driving record for 2 years, the conviction will be registered on your driving history for 3 years. Consequently, your insurance can be increased by more than 25% (typically) for the next 6 years.
How To Fight Your Failure To Report An Accident Ticket
Step 1: Hire a licensed and experienced traffic tickets lawyer, who will guide you through the whole process and represent your interests in court. Filing legal documents, preparation of the defence strategy and all those boring legal routines won’t be your problem anymore.
Get ready to be a traffic lawyer for yourself!
Step 2: File your ticket by mail or online. Make an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor to discuss the possible decision of your charge. If you’re not content with resolution and you don’t want to plead your guilty, go to the trial.
Step 3: Trial. Here you will be interviewed by the prosecution. Also, to defend yourself, you need to present legal arguments for your charge, cross-examine witnesses and bring any evidence proving your not guilty. Prepare everything in advance.
When it comes to fighting your charge you should make sure that the prosecution can confirm each substantial element of the charge, namely participants of a collision, exact time, place and circumstances. Along with this, they should prove that, in reality, the damage was exceeding the prescribed by regulation amount – $2,000 and the driver did not report the collision forthwith. “Forthwith” meaning and damage amount is always a matter for dispute at trial. Thus, it’s essential to seek legal support from the best traffic tickets paralegals.
Our team of former police officers and prosecutors is ready to go with you through your case details at any time of the day & night. Call us for FREE evaluation and we’ll advise on your options and what we can do to help you. Remember, legal mistakes and incompetent decisions at the beginning may result in a conviction on your driving abstract and your expenditures increase in the end.