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Is it a Criminal offence to fail to stop at the scene of a road traffic accident or to fail to report a road traffic accident?

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It is an offence to fail to stop at the scene of an accident, this offence carries a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment.

The law requires you to stop at the scene of a motoring accident and exchange your correct personal details. If details are not exchanged then the law requires you to report the accident to the police as soon as possible, within 24 hours. If the accident has not been reported then you could be committing a further offence of failing to report. Failing to report an accident carries the same maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment.

The requirements to stop at the scene of an accident arise where there is, personal injury, Damage to a vehicle, injury to an animal or damage to a property.

What constitutes a ‘Failure to Stop’?

  • Failing to provide your correct personal details when asked by someone involved in the accident
  • Failing to stop when the accident occurs, even if you return to the scene afterwards
  • Stopping at the accident but not long enough to share your correct personal details

What constitutes a ‘Failure to Report’?

  • Failing to report the accident to the police within 24 hours of it occurring, if you did not stop at the scene
  • The report will need to be made in person, a phone call will not be sufficient and will constitute a failure to report

Do I have a defence to the offence of failing to stop or failing to report?

If the accident occurred and you did not hear or see anything then this may be a successful defence for you. There are a number of other defences that may be available to you depending on the circumstances around the incident. For more information in relation to what defences may be available to you then please do not hesitate to contact us on Crimeteam@johnsonastills.com or call our Leicester office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312.

What can I do if I have been charged with failing to stop or failing to report?  

If you are charged with failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an incident then contact a member of the Crime Team at Johnson Astills Solicitors. We regularly deal with these offences and have an experienced team. For advice in relation to these offences and the defences that are available, please contact us on Crimeteam@johnsonastills.com or call our Leicester office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312.