Failure to stop / Failure to report an accident
If you are involved in an accident while driving which causes injury to another person or damage to another vehicle or another person's property, you are required by law to stop your vehicle. Even if the accident was not your fault you can still be guilty of failure to stop.
You also have a duty to provide your name and address and vehicle details to someone who has reasonably requested them, for instance the driver of the other vehicle.
If you have failed to stop after an accident you have a duty to report the accident as soon as practicable and in any event within 24 hours of the time that the accident occurred. This report to the police must be done in person and not by telephone. There is no requirement to report the accident to the police if you have stopped after the accident and exchanged details with the other party.
Penalties for Failure to stop / Failure to report an accident
These have been judged to be serious offences and this is reflected in the severity of the potential sentences. The maximum penalty is a fine of up to £5000 and or 6 months imprisonment although prison is only likely in very serious cases. Disqualification may also be imposed at the discretion of the court or as an alternative between 5 and 10 penalty points may be given.
Defence for failure to stop / failure to report an accident
One possible defence is if you are able to satisfy the court that you were unaware that an accident had taken place and therefore did not stop.
This type of defence will require a solicitor with experience and knowledge of this type of offence. Contact us for more advice.