Hit and Run Laws in

New York


06/04/05 Penalties Increased for Deadly Drivers in New York

New York Governor George E. Pataki has signed two bills into law that will help protect New Yorkers against hit and run drivers and drunk drivers. The new laws not only increase penalties for deadly drivers who leave the scene of an accident, but also eliminate the need for prosecutors to prove criminal negligence in order to charge a drunken driver with a felony.

.....The current law did not distinguish between leaving the scene of an incident involving a “serious physical injury” and an incident involving a “fatal injury” charging both as a class E felony. The new legislation will elevate the crime of leaving the scene of an incident involving a fatal injury to a class D felony, with a maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. This legislation also elevates the crime of leaving the scene of an incident involving personal injury, which under current law is a class B misdemeanor (maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail), to a class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, with a second or subsequent violation could be charged as a class E felony.

§ 600. Leaving scene of an incident without reporting.

1. Property damage. a. Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that damage has been caused to the real property or to the personal property, not including animals, of another, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall, before leaving the place where the damage occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, and give his or her name, residence, including street and number, insurance carrier and insurance identification information including but not limited to the number and effective dates of said individual's insurance policy, and license number to the party sustaining the damage, or in case the person sustaining the damage is not present at the place where the damage occurred then he or she shall report the same as soon as physically able to the nearest police station, or judicial officer.

b. It shall be the duty of any member of a law enforcement agency who is at the scene of the accident to request the said operator or operators of the motor vehicles, when physically capable of doing so, to exchange the information required hereinabove and such member of a law enforcement agency shall assist such operator or operators in making such exchange of information in a reasonable and harmonious manner. A violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars or a sentence of imprisonment for up to fifteen days or both such fine and imprisonment.

2. Personal injury a. Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that personal injury has been caused to another person, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall, before leaving the place where the said personal injury occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, and give his or her name, residence, including street and street number, insurance carrier and insurance identification information including but not limited to the number and effective dates of said individual's insurance policy and license number, to the injured party, if practical, and also to a police officer, or in the event that no police officer is in the vicinity of the place of said injury, then, he or she shall report said incident as soon as physically able to the nearest police station or judicial officer.

b. It shall be the duty of any member of a law enforcement agency who is at the scene of the accident to request the said operator or operators of the motor vehicles, when physically capable of doing so, to exchange the information required hereinabove and such member of a law enforcement agency shall assist such operator or operators in making such exchange of information in a reasonable and harmonious manner.

c. A violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision resulting solely from the failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for the vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph shall constitute a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty nor more than five hundred dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any subsequent such violation shall constitute a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, other than for the mere failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph, shall constitute a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any such violation committed by a person after such person has previously been convicted of such a violation shall constitute a class E felony, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, other than for the mere failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph, where the personal injury involved (i) results in serious physical injury, as defined in section 10.00 of the penal law, shall constitute a class E felony, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law, or (ii) results in death shall constitute a class D felony punishable by a fine of not less than two thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law.

§ 70.00 Sentence of imprisonment for felony.

* 1. Indeterminate sentence. Except as provided in subdivisions four, five and six of this section, a sentence of imprisonment for a felony, other than a felony defined in article two hundred twenty or two hundred twenty-one of this chapter, shall be an indeterminate sentence. When such a sentence is imposed, the court shall impose a maximum term in accordance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section and the minimum period of imprisonment shall be as provided in subdivision three of this section.

* NB Effective until September 1, 2009

* 1. Indeterminate sentence. Except as provided in subdivisions four and five of this section, a sentence of imprisonment for a felony, other than a felony defined in article two hundred twenty or two hundred twenty-one of this chapter, shall be an indeterminate sentence. When such a sentence is imposed, the court shall impose a maximum term in accordance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section and the minimum period of imprisonment shall be as provided in subdivision three of this section.

* NB Effective September 1, 2009

2. Maximum term of sentence. The maximum term of an indeterminate sentence shall be at least three years and the term shall be fixed as follows:

(a) For a class A felony, the term shall be life imprisonment;

(b) For a class B felony, the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed twenty-five years;

(c) For a class C felony, the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed fifteen years;

(d) For a class D felony, the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed seven years; and

(e) For a class E felony, the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed four years.

3. Minimum period of imprisonment. The minimum period of imprisonment under an indeterminate sentence shall be at least one year and shall be fixed as follows:

(a) In the case of a class A felony, the minimum period shall be fixed by the court and specified in the sentence.

(i) For a class A-I felony, such minimum period shall not be less than fifteen years nor more than twenty-five years; provided, however, that

(A) where a sentence, other than a sentence of death or life imprisonment without parole, is imposed upon a defendant convicted of murder in the first degree as defined in section 125.27 of this chapter such minimum period shall be not less than twenty years nor more than twenty-five years, and, (B) where a sentence is imposed upon a defendant convicted of murder in the second degree as defined in subdivision five of section 125.25 of this chapter the sentence shall be life imprisonment without parole.

(ii) For a class A-II felony, such minimum period shall not be less than three years nor more than eight years four months.

(b) For a class B felony, the minimum period shall be fixed by the court and specified in the sentence and shall be not less than one year nor more than one-third of the maximum term imposed.

4. Alternative definite sentence for class D and E felonies. When a person, other than a second or persistent felony offender, is sentenced for a class D or class E felony, and the court, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, is of the opinion that a sentence of imprisonment is necessary but that it would be unduly harsh to impose an indeterminate or determinate sentence, the court may impose a definite sentence of imprisonment and fix a term of one year or less.

5. Life imprisonment without parole. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a defendant sentenced to life imprisonment without parole shall not be or become eligible for parole or conditional release. For purposes of commitment and custody, other than parole and conditional release, such sentence shall be deemed to be an indeterminate sentence. A defendant may be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole upon conviction for the crime of murder in the first degree as defined in section 125.27 of this chapter and in accordance with the procedures provided by law for imposing a sentence for such crime. A defendant must be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole upon conviction for the crime of terrorism as defined in section 490.25 of this chapter, where the specified offense the defendant committed is a class A-I felony; the crime of criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the first degree as defined in section 490.45 of this chapter; or the crime of criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the first degree as defined in section 490.55 of this chapter; provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision shall preclude or prevent a sentence of death when the defendant is also convicted of the crime of murder in the first degree as defined in section 125.27 of this chapter. A defendant must be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole upon conviction for the crime of murder in the second degree as defined in subdivision five of section 125.25 of this chapter.

* 6. Determinate sentence. Except as provided in subdivision four of this section and subdivisions two and four of section 70.02, when a person is sentenced as a violent felony offender pursuant to section 70.02 or as a second violent felony offender pursuant to section 70.04 or as a second felony offender on a conviction for a violent felony offense pursuant to section 70.06, the court must impose a determinate sentence of imprisonment in accordance with the provisions of such sections and such sentence shall include, as a part thereof, a period of post-release supervision in accordance with section 70.45.

* NB Repealed September 1, 2009

§ 30.10 Timeliness of prosecutions; periods of limitation.

1. A criminal action must be commenced within the period of limitation prescribed in the ensuing subdivisions of this section.

2. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision three:

(a) A prosecution for a class A felony may be commenced at any time;

(b) A prosecution for any other felony must be commenced within five years after the commission thereof;

(c) A prosecution for a misdemeanor must be commenced within two years after the commission thereof;

(d) A prosecution for a petty offense must be commenced within one year after the commission thereof.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two, the periods of limitation for the commencement of criminal actions are extended as follows in the indicated circumstances:

(a) A prosecution for larceny committed by a person in violation of a fiduciary duty may be commenced within one year after the facts constituting such offense are discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have been discovered by the aggrieved party or by a person under a legal duty to represent him who is not himself implicated in the commission of the offense.

(b) A prosecution for any offense involving misconduct in public office by a public servant may be commenced at any time during the defendant's service in such office or within five years after the termination of such service; provided however, that in no event shall the period of limitation be extended by more than five years beyond the period otherwise applicable under subdivision two.

(c) A prosecution for any crime set forth in title twenty-seven or article seventy-one of the environmental conservation law may be commenced within four years after the facts constituting such crime are discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have been discovered by a public servant who has the responsibility to enforce the provisions of said title and article.

(d) A prosecution for any misdemeanor set forth in the tax law or chapter forty-six of the administrative code of the city of New York must be commenced within three years after the commission thereof.

(e) A prosecution for course of sexual conduct in the first degree as defined in section 130.75 of the penal law and course of sexual conduct in the second degree as defined in section 130.80 of the penal law may be commenced within five years of the commission of the most recent act of sexual conduct.

(f) For purposes of a prosecution involving a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest as defined in section 255.25 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, or use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law, the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the child has reached the age of eighteen or the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, whichever occurs earlier.

(g) A prosecution for any felony defined in article four hundred ninety of the penal law must be commenced within eight years after the commission thereof provided, however, that in a prosecution for a felony defined in article four hundred ninety of the penal law, if the commission of such felony offense resulted in, or created a foreseeable risk of, death or serious physical injury to another person, the prosecution may be commenced at any time; provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to shorten or otherwise lessen the period, defined in any other applicable law, in which a prosecution for a felony designated in this paragraph may be commenced.

4. In calculating the time limitation applicable to commencement of a criminal action, the following periods shall not be included:

(a) Any period following the commission of the offense during which (i) the defendant was continuously outside this state or (ii) the whereabouts of the defendant were continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence. However, in no event shall the period of limitation be extended by more than five years beyond the period otherwise applicable under subdivision two.

(b) When a prosecution for an offense is lawfully commenced within the prescribed period of limitation therefor, and when an accusatory instrument upon which such prosecution is based is subsequently dismissed by an authorized court under directions or circumstances permitting the lodging of another charge for the same offense or an offense based on the same conduct, the period extending from the commencement of the thus defeated prosecution to the dismissal of the accusatory instrument does not constitute a part of the period of limitation applicable to commencement of prosecution by a new charge.

The Saratogian
8/7/2005

"......Was the driver under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident? If he was, the police didn't notice. And since three hours had elapsed since he'd left the scene, there was no way to prove whether he'd been stoned at the time.

Until last month, it would actually be to a driver's benefit to run from the scene of an accident if he or she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That ridiculous loophole has been closed, thanks in large part to the state's association of district attorneys.

The new, improved law subjects a hit-and-run driver to the same level of felony as a driver who had been under the influence, so there is no longer a benefit to a driver who runs from the scene...."

Source



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This page is added for reference only. Laws may have been changed since and information shown may be incomplete or erroneous. Use of this information is at users risk and only an accredited attorney can advise you of the exact law in each state. This page deals with state leaving the scene laws only and hit and run drivers may face other charges.


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