Leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri is a public safety offense with serious penalties if you are found guilty. The severity of the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident will generally depend on the physical injury or other damages the accident caused.
Missouri’s Legal Definition of Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Missouri defines leaving the scene of an accident as when the driver of a vehicle fails to provide
accurate contact information to the other party or to a law enforcement officer after involvement in an accident that causes injury, death, or damage to property. If you know you have been involved in an accident, you must provide the following information to the other party or law enforcement:
- Your name
- Your place of residence (including a city and street number)
- The registration or license plate number of your vehicle
- Any applicable operator license number
What Is the Punishment for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
As a baseline, leaving the scene of an accident is a class A misdemeanor. In Missouri, a class A misdemeanor has a maximum prison sentence of one year. However, the crime of leaving the scene of an accident can become a Class E felony under any of the following circumstances:
- If the resulting accident caused physical injury to another person
- If the accident caused damages greater than $1,000 to another person’s property
- If you have prior convictions for leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri or another state
The punishment for a Class E felony is a maximum of four years in prison. However, if you leave the scene of an accident that causes another person’s death, then you can be charged with a Class D felony, which is punishable up to seven years in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine.
In addition to the criminal penalties, twelve to sixteen points may be added to your Missouri driver’s license if you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident. Typically, that could mean a suspension or revocation of your driving privilege.
Legal Defense for a Case Involving Leaving the Scene of an Accident
A strong legal defense can analyze the complex facts of a charge for leaving the scene of an accident and advocate for a favorable outcome. Michael Taylor is an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City area. As a former prosecutor, he understands all sides of the criminal legal system evidenced by case results with dropped charges and acquittals.
Contact The Law Office of Michael R. Taylor today to schedule your free consultation concerning leaving the scene of an accident or another criminal case.