FAILURE TO STOP AFTER AN ACCIDENT
It is an offence for a person being the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle and owing to the presence of that vehicle on the road or other such public place an accident having occurred whereby damage or injury was caused did fail to stop and give his name and address and identification marks of the vehicle.
Road Traffic Act 1988 s 170 (2)
In a prosecution for failure to stop we advise that you contact us immediately. There is a strict duty upon motorists to stop and provide information, to people who reasonably request it, after an accident involving damage to property or injury to a person.
It is important to note that you can be guilty of failure to stop even if the accident is no fault of yours.
As with lot of road traffic offences, failing to stop is widely defined. It does not have to involve a motor vehicle as the Act refers to mechanically propelled vehicle. The definition of ‘accident’ tends to be regarded in a common sense way. Any ‘injury’ to a person does not have to be physical injury and can even include nervous shock.
The requirement for expert legal advice is clear in relation to any person prosecuted for failing to stop. We will look at the situation, advise you of your exact position and advise the best way forward for you. Depending on the situation a specialized defence may avoid a driving ban
Despite being a very strict duty on drivers to stop after an accident, do not assume there are no defences to the charge. There are and we are here to use them for you if possible. For example it is a defence to failing to stop if the driver can satisfy the court that he was unaware that an accident had occurred. It may be that you did stop after an accident and wait for a reasonable time before leaving the scene. In order to avoid a conviction for failing to stop, your argument has to be persuasive. We are experts at putting your version of events to the court.
If you are prosecuted for failing to stop this will be heard in the Magistrates Court.
If you are found guilty of failing to stop the offence will attract the full penalty unless this can be reduced by mitigation. This is where we can help again. If it is not possible to secure an acquittal it is important that we fully explain your position to the court to ensure that any penalty is kept to the absolute minimum.
The maximum penalty for failing to stop after an accident is 5 – 10 penalty points, a fine of up to £5000 and a driving ban at the discretion of the court.