Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defense

A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident can cause significant consequences to your Missouri driver’s license.   If you have a pending charge of leaving the scene of an accident, call me today for a consultation.  I offer free consultations for cases in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri as that is the primary place where I defend those charged with a criminal case.

Tim Brown

Law Office of Timothy R. Brown

Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident

What is Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

Leaving the scene of an accident is, generally speaking, being involved in an accident and not giving proper information in a proper time-frame to the other party involved or the authorities.  See below for a more detailed explanation.

Benefits of a hiring a Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyer

Hiring an attorney may be helpful.  An experienced defense lawyer can look at the facts of the case to determine if there is a valid case against you or not.  A defense lawyer can also discuss your options with you and give you the options you have with the benefits and detriments of each option.  Options include having a trial, filing motions in the case, working out a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office or entering a plea of guilt and requesting the Judge to set the punishment.  Each case is different so the pros and cons of each choice are different because of this.

 

How will a Leaving the Scene of an Accident Conviction Affect My Driver’s License?

  • 12 points may be assessed to a driver’s license causing a one year revocation.
  • Those convicted of a felony leaving the scene of an accident offense may not be eligible for a hardship or restricted driving privilege.

Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident Law

Missouri’s Leaving the Scene of an Accident Law

The law effective for alleged crimes on or after August 28, 2017 is listed below.  A previous version is applicable to incidents that allegedly occurred prior to this date.

Missouri Revised Statute 577.060.  Leaving the scene of an accident — penalties. — 1.  A person commits the offense of leaving the scene of an accident when:

  (1)  Being the operator of a vehicle or a vessel involved in an accident resulting in injury or death or damage to property of another person; and

  (2)  Having knowledge of such accident he or she leaves the place of the injury, damage or accident without stopping and giving the following information to the other party or to a law enforcement officer, or if no law enforcement officer is in the vicinity, then to the nearest law enforcement agency:

  (a)  His or her name;

  (b)  His or her residence, including city and street number;

  (c)  The registration or license number for his or her vehicle or vessel; and

  (d)  His or her operator’s license number, if any.

  2.  For the purposes of this section, all law enforcement officers shall have jurisdiction, when invited by an injured person, to enter the premises of any privately owned property for the purpose of investigating an accident and performing all necessary duties regarding such accident.

  3.  The offense of leaving the scene of an accident is:

  (1)  A class A misdemeanor;

  (2)  A class E felony if:

  (a)  Physical injury was caused to another party; or

  (b)  Damage in excess of one thousand dollars was caused to the property of another person; or

  (c)  The defendant has previously been found guilty of any offense in violation of this section; or committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would be a violation of an offense of this section; or

  (3)  A class D felony if a death has occurred as a result of the accident.

  4.  A law enforcement officer who investigates or receives information of an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle and also involving the loss of life or serious physical injury shall make a written report of the investigation or information received and such additional facts relating to the accident as may come to his or her knowledge, mail the information to the department of public safety, and keep a record thereof in his or her office.

  5.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to the operation of all-terrain vehicles when property damage is sustained in sanctioned all-terrain vehicle races, derbies and rallies.

How is a Felony Charge of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Different From a Misdemeanor Charge

A misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident offense is different from a felony for various reasons.  The first is that the charge is a misdemeanor unless certain conditions are met.  A leaving the scene of an accident offense is a felony if there 1) is physical injury caused to a person other than the person charged with the offense or 2) there is damage in excess of one thousand dollars caused to the property of another person (this includes the property of a business as the definition of person in Missouri includes businesses) or 3) the person charged has been previously found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident or 4) if a death has occurred as result of the accident.  Only one of the four conditions must be met for the charge to be a felony rather than a misdemeanor

Another way that a misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident is different than a felony is that the punishment is different.  A class A misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident includes a range of punishment of up to a $2,000 fine and/or a jail sentence up to one year.  A class E felony of leaving the scene of an accident can result in a punishment of up to one year in jail or four years in the Department of Corrections and/or a fine of up to $10,000.  A class D felony of leaving the scene of an accident extends to the possible prison sentence to up to seven years in the Department of Corrections and still includes the possibility of a fine not to exceed $10,000.

A felony conviction can result in other issues regarding your rights.

 

Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident Statute Text

The law on leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri is listed here.

Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defense

If you have a pending leaving the scene of an accident charge in Greene County, Missouri, call me today at 417-720-1098 for a free consultation.

Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident Cost

What are Some of the Costs that Can Occur with a Leaving the Scene of an Accident Charge?

The following are some of the costs that may be incurred.

  1. A fine.  This amount may be up to $2,000 for a misdemeanor offense or up to $10,000 for a felony leaving the scene of an accident offense.
  2. Court Costs.  These are costs paid to the court.
  3. Higher car insurance rates.  Higher car insurance rates can occur from one’s car insurance company.
  4. Attorney Fees.  Attorney fees vary depending on which attorney is hired and what work is involved.
  5. Probation Costs.  These are costs that can be assessed monthly while one is on probation.
  6. Costs to complete community service.  Community service is offered through CASP and vary depending on how many hours are required to be completed.
  7. Costs to complete driving course(s).  A driving course or course may be assessed as part of probation and there are fees for these.
  8. Reinstatement fees for driver’s license.  If one’s driver’s license is suspended or revoked based on a leaving the scene of an accident case, reinstatement fees may be incurred by the Department of Revenue.

Missouri Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Felony

Issues that Arise from a Felony Leaving the Scene of an Accident Charge

Some consequences of a felony leaving the scene of an accident charge include criminal consequences, driver’s license consequences and other consequences.

Criminal Consequences that can arise from a Felony Leaving the Scene of an Accident

  • Fines.  A fine may be assessed of up to $10,000.
  • Prison sentence, jail sentence or probation.  A jail or prison sentence may be imposed or suspended.  If the sentence is suspended, then the person charged will be placed on probation.  A jail sentence of up to one year or a prison sentence of up to 4 years for a class E felony or seven years for a class D felony may be required unless probation is granted.

Driver’s License Consequences for a Felony Leaving the Scene of an Accident

  • Loss of driver’s license for a period of time.  This can be caused by 12 points being assessed for a violation of state law for leaving the scene of accident.  This can also occur from a violation of county or city law in conjunction with another violation that results in points.  Check with a defense attorney to see how this may affect your driver’s license status.

Other Consequences for a Felony Leaving the Scene of an Accident that can occur

  • Loss of employment if your job requires you to operate a motor vehicle and you lose your driver’s license due to the leaving the scene of an accident conviction.

Missouri Misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Missouri Misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of an Accident

A leaving the scene of an accident offense may be a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense.  To be a felony offense, one of the following would be alleged to have occurred:  1) is physical injury caused to a person other than the person charged with the offense or 2) there is damage in excess of one thousand dollars caused to the property of another person (this includes the property of a business as the definition of person in Missouri includes businesses) or 3) the person charged has been previously found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident or 4) if a death has occurred as result of the accident.  

Criminal Consequences for Misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of an Accident

  • A fine not to exceed $2,000.
  • A jail sentence not to exceed one year or probation
  • Probation conditions including community service, a driving class and/or other conditions.

Other Consequences for Misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of an Accident

  • Loss of employment if your job requires you to operate a motor vehicle and you lose your driver’s license due to the leaving the scene of an accident conviction.

Driver’s License Issues with Leaving the Scene of an Accident

  • Loss of driver’s license for a period of time.  This can be caused by 12 points being assessed for a violation of state law for leaving the scene of accident.  This can also occur from a violation of county or city law in conjunction with another violation that results in points.  Check with a defense attorney to see how this may affect your driver’s license status.

 

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Case Review

Feel free to call or email now.  Please note that I only offer free case reviews after verifying there is not a conflict of interest and only provide them for the criminal defense cases I handle in Greene County, Missouri.  Please do not include any details about your case in the message aside from the type of charge.  Thank you.