Hit and run accidents in New York are very serious matters. Depending on whether there are injuries or only property damage will determine just how serious of a violation it will be. Pursuant to VTL 600-2, leaving the scene of accident with injuries is a traffic misdemeanor (crime) and has very serious consequences on your record and your insurance liability. While still serious, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage is a traffic violation, albeit a serious traffic violation, and carries three (3) DMV points. For a commercial driver, this is one of the few instances where it does not matter if you are driving a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle. A conviction for leaving a scene can result in a suspension of your CDL for up to one (1) year.
There are certain elements that must be met in order to be convicted of leaving the scene, and in certain instances, this particular violation can sometimes be difficult for the People to prove at trial.
As it pertains to leave the scene of an accident with property damage, the People have to establish that: the defendant operated a motor vehicle on a public roadway, that defendant knew or had reason to know they were involved in a motor vehicle accident where property damage was sustained, and they failed to stay to exchange pertinent information with the other motorist (i.e. ID, contact info, insurance information), OR if the other motorist left the scene, did not immediately report the incident to the nearest police station.
There are some affirmatives defenses that can be established by the motorist, especially if it can be shown that they made a good faith effort to locate the other motorist, or they did not reasonably believe they were involved in a motor vehicle accident.