Failure to Give Information
There are many reasons why people fail to give information after an accident: You panicked and left the scene; you simply didn’t know what to do after an accident; or maybe you thought there was nothing you could do because there was no way to find the owner of the other vehicle.
Sometimes people flee because they are worried that they may face criminal charges if the police show up. Drivers sometimes leave the scene because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.What Does the Law say?
If you are involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle or have caused damage to other property, you have certain obligations.
Section 625 ILCS 5/11-404 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, explains your obligations upon damaging an unattended vehicle or other property. You must always stop and try to locate the operator or owner of the other vehicle or the damaged property and provide the information (discussed below) to the other party.
Of course, there are times when you can't find the owner of the other vehicle or property. If not possible, the law requires that you leave your information with the damaged vehicle or the damaged property. The information must be left securely in a conspicuous place.What Information Must I Leave After an Accident?
Illinois law requires you to stop at the scene and either:
- Find the operator or owner and notify them of the damaged property or the damaged vehicle. Give your full name, full address, and registration number to the owner of the damaged vehicle or the damaged property; OR
- If you can't locate the owner, leave a written note on the damaged vehicle or the damaged property with the same information - your name, address, and registration number.
After you leave the necessary information, you are required to notify the nearest police department without delay. A written report may need to be filed in accordance with Section 625 ILCS 5/11-406 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
If you fail to fulfill these requirements, you can be charged with the offense of leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle or damage to property.What are the Penalties?
Failing to give information or leaving the scene after an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle or property, is a serious offense. It is a criminal charge, not a petty traffic violation. Failure to report, failure to give information, or leaving the scene is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 365 days jail time and a fine up to $2,500.00 plus court costs. Remember that this is the maximum penalty and there are a variety of possible outcomes depending on numerous factors including your prior driving record, criminal record and mitigating circumstances.We can Help you
If you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois, contact the defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to discuss the specific situation and your options. Finding an attorney experienced in these matters is important. A skilled lawyer will work hard to fight the charge against you and ensure the best result possible.
The Davis Law Group, P.C has decades of experience representing drivers who have failed to give information or left the scene after an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle or property. Contact our traffic attorneys today to review your case by means of a free initial consultation.