Failing To Report An Accident
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Failing To Report
If you have been involved in an accident while driving, you are legally required to ensure that the incident is reported to the police, if you do not exchange details including your name and address with the other party while at the scene. Ideally, you should report the accident straight away, and in person at the police station, but it should be reported within 24 hours in any case. Failing to report an accident is an offence, and one that can carry up to ten penalty points, although there are defences that can help gain an acquittal or mitigate the sentence so that you receive fewer penalty points and a lesser fine.
The Road Traffic Act dictates that a person must remain at the scene of an accident for a reasonable time, and that they must exchange details with any relevant and genuine party. If this is not possible, or if the driver fails to do this, then they must report the accident directly to the police within a period of 24 hours.
Failing to report an accident and failing to stop following an accident are separate crimes, and it is possible that you could be summonsed for either one or both offences. They carry similar penalties, have similar defences, and they could lead to you accumulating 12 points on your licence, and therefore facing an automatic disqualification from driving.
If you have been summonsed for failing to report an accident, then you should contact a solicitor or motoring lawyer straight away. Whether you believe you exchanged details, were not aware that you had been involved in an accident, or intend to plead guilty, having experienced legal representation could help ensure that you only receive a penalty that is fair, help ensure that you keep your licence, or help to gain an acquittal in court.
Failing to report an accident is treated as a serious crime, and being accused of this crime means that you will receive a summons to appear in court. The number of penalty points that are given for this offence mean that it will not be dealt with by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.