Is leaving the scene of an accident a crime?

August 4, 2022
Is leaving the scene of an accident a crime?

Being involved in a car accident is always a frightening thing, whether you are dealing with injuries and insurance companies after the incident or you are facing charges. It can be tempting to think about driving away after a collision. However, you and other Missouri residents should understand the potential ramifications of doing so.

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, leaving the scene of an accident, otherwise known as a hit-and-run, is a violation of the law, whether you would have been considered at fault for the crash otherwise. Drivers commonly leave an accident scene if they have problems with their vehicle registration, insurance or driver’s license and they are worried about the consequences. They may also flee the scene if someone is injured or there is property damage and they are afraid they will be found at fault. It’s also less common, but possible, to not realize you were in a minor accident and to keep driving. For example, it is easy to not see someone wearing dark clothing crossing an unlit street at night, and you might strike the person and think you hit an animal or not notice the incident at all.

Leaving the scene of an accident will usually result in charges against you. In some circumstances, however, you may be able to show that you needed to leave the scene to get help. Leaving an accident scene is a situation requiring skillful legal counsel, especially if you are facing related drunk driving charges. Therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.


For personalized legal guidance, call our office at 417-882-9300 or submit this form to schedule a meeting with an attorney.

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