Most people think that getting a traffic ticket is no big deal. However, one too many could lead to dire legal repercussions. Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage is a serious offense that could lead to time spent in jail and a costly fine. Additional penalties like a license suspension or revocation could also be imposed. Tickets and accidents also cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. If you have received a citation, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney.
Leaving the Scene of Accident Involving Property Damage in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, there are traffic laws that dictate what a driver should do if involved in an accident. In the aftermath of a collision in which another vehicle has been damaged, under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3745, it is a legal requirement for all parties involved to stay at the scene until assistance has arrived and relevant information, such as insurance provider details, license plate numbers, etc. have been rendered. .
Even in cases when a driver strikes and damages any other type of property such as a bike or a building, he or she is required to stop, and notify the owner or the occupant of the property, no matter how minuscule the damage appears to be. If an owner or occupant is not present, a motorist is expected to leave a note providing all relevant information (name, address, vehicle registration) about the incident in a place where they may discover it.
If you fail to follow this traffic law, you will likely be cited with a traffic ticket and possibly charged with a criminal offense.
Pennsylvania's Point System
Pennsylvania adheres to a point system that holds drivers accountable for their driving habits. The state's Department of Transportation, also known as PennDOT, maintains the driving records of licensed state motorists through this point system. Once a driver is found guilty of a traffic offense (paying a citation fine is an admission of guilt), a series of points will be added to a driving record. The number of points added depends solely on the traffic offense that was committed. In the event that a driver reaches six points, administrative corrective actions will be taken. Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage is four points.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage is a serious traffic offense. The commission of this crime may lead to a misdemeanor criminal charge. Upon conviction, a motorist will be subjected to a fine of up to $300 and a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail. If this is a motorist's first arrest and conviction, this crime could contribute to the creation of a criminal record, which has the ability to hinder job prospects, limit access to government programs and breach rights and protections that you were once entitled to with a squeaky clean record.
If this traffic offense brings you over the six-point mark, additional penalties such as a driver's safety educational course, and up to a 30-day license suspension may be imposed.
Philadelphia Traffic Attorney
As you can see, this traffic offense has serious penalties. You need the help of a skilled traffic attorney to help you weigh your options and respond appropriately to ticket citations. Contact legal professional Joseph D. Lento today for assistance.