Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Michigan law imposes several duties on a driver involved in a car accident.
After an accident, a driver must:
- Give his or her name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is operating, including the name and address of the owner, to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided.
- Exhibit his or her operator’s or chauffeur’s license to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided.
- Render to any individual injured in the accident reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or arrange for or provide transportation to any injured individual. The driver is not required to remain at the scene if that would be unsafe for the driver but may make a report to the nearest authorities.
There are several types of leaving the scene crimes, with escalating levels of consequences.
Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in damage to fixtures upon a highway is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $100 fine, or both. There are no licensing sanctions for this offense. MCL 257.621
Leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to a vehicle is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $100 fine or both. Six points are assessed on the driver’s license and a $1,000 driver’s responsibility fee is to be paid for two consecutive years. MCL 257.618
A misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury to a person carries a steeper penalty of imprisonment of not more than 1 year, a $1,000 fine, or both, with six points and a $1,000 driver’s responsibility fee to be paid over two consecutive years. The law also requires you to render reasonable medical assistance where a person is injured. MCL 257.617a
It is a felony to leave the scene of an accident where serious impairment of a bodily function or death has occurred. Penalties include up to 5 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. If the driver who fled the scene caused the accident, penalties may up to 15 years in prison, a $10,000, or both. Six points are assessed on the driver’s record, in addition to a $1,000 driver responsibility fees to be paid for two consecutive years. MCL 257.617
A person charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident may also be charged with the misdemeanor Failure to Report an Accident involving personal injury or property damage of over $1,000, which carries the penalty of imprisonment for not more than 90 days, a $100 fine, or both. There are no licensing sanctions for a conviction. MCL 257.622