Failing To Stop After An Accident
If a driver is involved in any accident that causes injury or damage to property, then they are required to stop and give details to any relevant party. In the case of an accident with another driver, this typically means stopping to exchange contact and insurance details, and failing to stop in this way is a criminal offence that can carry significant penalties. Although a prison sentence is possible, this is typically only reserved for serious cases, including accidents that would be considered hit and run.
The Road Traffic Act determines that the driver must stop and provide their name and address, as well as the registration mark of the vehicle they were driving. The Act also dictates that the driver must provide these details to anybody that has a reasonable claim to them – this may include other drivers, pedestrians, the owner of damaged property, or anybody directly involved in the accident.
Currently, a driver that is found guilty of failing to stop can receive up to 10 penalty points on their licence, and a minimum of five points will be awarded. A fine of up to £5,000 may also be given, and the court has the discretion to impose a driving ban on the guilty party. A prison sentence of up to six months may, in the most serious incidents, be considered, although it is rare for a prison sentence to be given to any case that did not involve serious injury, or where other offences were not included.
Drivers do have a strict duty to stop and provide details to relevant parties following an accident, but beyond this the law is broadly defined. If it can be proven that you were not aware there was an accident, then this may be considered a defence, or you may have stopped for a reasonable time but were unable to provide details to anybody.
The full penalty points will be awarded, unless you can show mitigating factors to the court, and this is where an experienced and knowledgeable motoring offence solicitor can assist. They will be able to determine whether you have any viable defence, whether there are any mitigating factors to help reduce the penalty, and they may be able to ensure that you keep your licence even if you have accumulated 12 or more penalty points.
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We have helped many people who faced road traffic offences in the courts. With our experience, we have helped save driving licences for people who rely on their cars for work and family.
We are experts in our field. We are not judgemental and only want to offer you the best advice and representation when you are facing the courts and a possible disqualification from driving.
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