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FAILURE TO STOP AND FAILURE TO REPORT

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Keep My Driving Licence have years of experience in defending charges of failure to stop or to report accidents.  Call our specialist team today on 0800 999 5535 or submit your case and we will call you back.

Road accidents happen, but do you know what you are legally obliged to do if you are involved in one?

What is Failure to Stop?

Any driver, regardless of fault, involved in a road traffic accident that has caused injury or damage has a duty to stop and remain at the scene, and to provide information including:

  • level of involvement in the accident;
  • name and address and insurance details; and
  • whether any damage has been caused to a vehicle or to property or a person injured.

Even if you stop at the accident but still do not provide details when asked, can be deemed to be failing to stop.

If I leave the accident, can I come back later to sort it out?

You should not leave the scene.  Even if you return later, you may still be charged with the offence and face potential prosecution.

What if I checked but there was no damage and the other vehicle owner wasn’t present?

If absolutely no damage has been caused to the other vehicle then you do not need to provide any details. It may be sensible to take photographs at the scene, just in case.

What is Failure to Report?

If any driver fails to stop and exchange details after an accident, then there is a duty to report that accident to the police within 24 hours of it occurring.  There is no need to report an accident if the drivers have stopped and exchanged particulars at the scene.

Can I report the accident to the police by phone?

No – any report to the police must be made in person. 

Do I need to report the incident if no-one was injured?

If it was ‘damage only’ and you have exchanged details with the other party involved, then you do not need to report the accident to the police.

What are the penalties for failure to stop and/or failure to report?

Both offences carry a maximum penalty of a £5000 fine or 6 months’ imprisonment, if found guilty. In addition, failure to stop can incur 5-10 penalty points on your driving licence, and possibly a period of disqualification from driving.  Whilst a prison term is uncommon in most cases, the severity of the penalty depends upon the seriousness of the offence and is at the discretion of the Court.

Defending failure to stop and/or report

The Court may consider a number of mitigating circumstances or reasons when deciding whether a driver is guilty of the offences.  These can include:

  • the reason for leaving the scene (such as responding to a personal emergency);
  • the duration of the delay in reporting the accident (for instance, was it a little over 24 hours) and are there good reasons for the delay;
  • whether the driver was even aware that an accident has occurred. This can be quite tricky to defend if there was an audible impact or significant damage.

General FAQs

Should I drive to Court?

This depends on your plea: Yes, if you are pleading not guiltyNo, if you are to be sentenced for an offence that carries a mandatory disqualification.

Our advice is that anyone who faces the possibility of a period of disqualification, no matter how small, should not drive to Court.

 

The Police Officer said that if I instruct a Solicitor I can avoid a disqualification, is this true?

This can be true in a lot of cases, however, if it is your intention to plead guilty to an offence that carries a mandatory period of disqualification, then the Magistrates have no discretion not to impose a period of disqualification.

 

I really need my car for my job, will the Court let me keep my licence?

If you are facing a disqualification for accumulating 12 penalty points or more (‘totting up’) or facing a sentence that carries a discretionary disqualification, then it is possible to persuade the Magistrates not to disqualify you. However, if you are to be sentenced for an offence that carries a mandatory disqualification, like driving with excess alcohol for example, then these types of offences carry a mandatory disqualification and the Magistrates have no discretion. In those circumstances you will only avoid a ban if your case is successfully defended after a not guilty plea.

 

Do you cover cases on Legal Aid?

No. All our cases are on a private paying fixed fee basis. We will tell you what your exact fees will be before you engage us. We cover Courts throughout England and Wales. Only general Criminal Defence Solicitors (not road traffic specialists) based in an area close to where your Court case is, will have a Legal Aid Contract. You may not be eligible for Legal Aid in any event. The two tests for whether you are eligible for Legal Aid are

  1. Whether you are financially eligible
  2. Whether it is in the interest of Justice for you to receive Legal Aid for the offence that you are due to appear before the Court for. For almost all road traffic matters you will not be eligible for Legal Aid as for a lot of cases the Sentence is a financial penalty and either penalty points or a disqualification.

 

Will I have to say anything in Court?

Once we are instructed by you, we will advise you of the precise Court procedure. If you are pleading guilty to an offence, then you will only have to confirm your name and enter your plea. We will present the mitigation on your behalf.

If you are pleading not guilty, you may have to give evidence at your Trial, but you will be guided by Millars Solicitors.

 

What are my chances, can you give me a percentage?

We would not give a client their chance of success in a percentage. We would not give a client their chance of success in a percentage, as this is not realistic. We provide all clients with a comprehensive assessment of their case and we are instructed on the basis that the client has been advised of their chances of success.

 

Will the Police or witnesses be in Court?

If you are pleading guilty or if it is your first hearing and you are pleaded not guilty then the witnesses will not be in Court.

If your matter is listed for a Trial, then the witnesses will be in Court as the Court will want to hear what the witnesses have to say.

 

Guilty plea

DON’T plead guilty until you let us look at your case. See how we can help you avoid a ban or significantly reduce your sentence.

Ask Carl

Did you fail to give a sample?  Concerned you have to plead guilty? Tell us about your case and we will review it and let you know

Not Guilty Plea

The police must prove to the court that you are guilty of the offence for which you have been charged. This must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. See how we have helped our clients defend their plea.

 

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About Keep my Driving Licence

Keep my Driving Licence is part of Millars Solicitors who are a specialist firm of road traffic and drink driving solicitors who represent motorists all over the country.

Formed by Carl Millar, Millars Solicitors has adopted his dogged tenacity and exacting technical understanding of motoring law. Before starting Millars Solicitors, Carl has been employed as the Head of Department at some of the most high profile Motoring Law Firms in the country. He is a member of the Society of Motoring Lawyers and has an enviable nationwide reputation for the results he gets for his clients.

Through representing a wide range of people you will find Carl and his team very approachable and never judgemental. Their advice is straightforward and will leave no stone unturned in pursuing all available defences in presenting your case.

If you have been caught drink driving you can contact Carl today on 0800 999 5535 or your can send a confidential email by clicking here. If you need to speak to a drink driving solicitor out of office hours than please call the 24 hour emergency line on 07855 806119.

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