What charges will I face for fleeing the scene of a minor car accident?
In the parking lot of my school it's very tightly packed and very hard to get out. I was pulling out on a rainy day, trying not to hit anyone in the parking lot. As I was going to back out of the parking space, I felt like I was going to hit the car behind me, so I went back into the parking space and then I turned right.
I felt like I was going to hit the left car that was parked next to me, so I went back again and into the parking space and turned right. As I was turning and backing out, I hit the car on my right side. I hit the left side of the bumper in the back. Due to the rain and fatigue I felt, I sort of panicked and fled from the scene.
This accident has been reported to the police. I know this because my school sent out an email about the accident in the parking lot. I'm planning on talking to the director and taking responsibility for my actions and the damage I caused. But like all teenagers, I'm worried about the consequences.
My question is, what sort of charges will I be facing for fleeing? Will I go to jail?
Will I lose my license? What happens if the insurance isn't in my name, but my parents' name? Will I get in trouble for using a car that doesn't have the insurance under my name? Thank you for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "What charges will I face for fleeing the scene of a minor car accident?":
Section 169.09 of Minnesota's Revised Statutes states as follows:
Subd. 4. Driver to stop for collision; unattended vehicle.
"The driver of any motor vehicle involved in a collision shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the collision, or as close to the scene as possible, and reasonably investigate what was struck.
If the driver knows or has reason to know the collision resulted in damage to any unattended vehicle, the driver must either locate and notify the driver or owner of the vehicle of the name and address of the driver and registered owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle, report this same information to a peace officer, or leave in a conspicuous place in or secured to the vehicle struck, a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the registered owner of the vehicle doing the striking. The stop must be made without unnecessarily obstructing traffic."
Subd. 14a. Suspension of license for failure to report accident.
"The commissioner may suspend the license, or any nonresident's operating privilege, of any person who willfully fails, refuses, or neglects to make report of a traffic accident as required by the laws of this state
(e) The driver of any vehicle involved in a collision resulting in damage to an unattended vehicle who violates subdivision 4 is guilty of a misdemeanor."
As you can see from the above, the worst case scenario is you may have your drivers license suspended. While a misdemeanor carries a short jail sentence, it is very unlikely you will serve any jail time. At worst you make be put on probation for the duration of your license suspension
However, if you retain an attorney, the attorney may be able to stop your license suspension, and ultimately have the cases against you dismissed.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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