Failure to stop and/or report after a road traffic accident
Offences of failing to stop or failing to report are often prosecuted along with offences such as dangerous or careless driving (otherwise known as driving without due care and attention).
For failing to stop or report after an accident the Magistrates must endorse with penalty points between 5 and 10 or alternatively may disqualify from driving.
It is always worth seeking legal advice as to whether the Prosecution might be minded to take a plea to one offence only and on that basis, agree to withdraw remaining allegations.
The courts deal differently with these offences depending upon the nature of the activity :
For minor damage or injury, where a driver stopped at the scene but failed to exchange particulars or report, the court may endorse in the range of 5 or 6 penalty points. With moderate damage or injury, or a driver who failed to stop and failed to report, the court may consider disqualification or in the alternative endorse the licence with 7 or 8 points.
Where there is serious damage or injury and/or evidence of bad driving, the court may look to impose a high level community order. It could be that a driver already has penalty points endorsed on his or her licence and therefore the court may also need to consider the totting up provisions and whether a driver can successfully argue exceptional hardship in order to avoid a period of disqualification under totting of points.
We can advise upon the facts that the court shall be looking to consider in such cases, including whether there was any likely evidence of drink or drugs/evasion of a test. This would suggest a higher culpability, as would leaving an injured party at the scene of an accident, or giving false details to the Police. Compare this with where there was a genuine fear of retribution or where a driver subsequently reported. These suggest lower culpability.
Contact our expert Motoring Offences Team at Rothera Sharp on 0800 088 6280 for help with any defences or mitigation, if you are charged with failing to stop or failing to report an accident.