Missouri treats fleeing the scene of a car accident pretty harshly. As with DWI law in Missouri, fleeing the scene of an accident has both criminal and civil aspects.
Criminally, leaving the scene can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony. The default is to treat the crime as a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 and up to one year in imprisonment. However, there are three circumstances in which fleeing the scene can result in a Class D Felony: (1) if there was physical injury caused to another party, (2) if there was property damage in excess of $1,000.00, or (3) if the defendant has previously plead guilty or been found guilty of leaving the scene of an automobile accident. A Class D Felony is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.00 and up to four years imprisonment.
The civil component of the case flows from the Department of Revenue imposing points on a driver’s license. See my previous post for more information generally on how the point system is structured: Missouri Traffic Violations and the License Point System.
Depending on whether you were ticketed for a violation of Municipal/County law versus State law, it will result in either 6 or 12 license points being assessed. More often that not, these points will result in a license suspension of a year.
Given the deluge of civil and criminal concerns in a fleeing the scene of an accident case, it’s vital to have an attorney to assist with both fronts.