Defending charges of failing to stop and report an accident in the UK magistrates court


You must stop and report an accident if you are involved in any collision when driving which causes injury or damage to any other person’s property – including vehicles, animals, street furniture or fence or a hedge. You must give your details to the person who has suffered a potential loss and are legally bound to supply them with your name and address and details relating to your vehicle – including those of your insurer.

If you do not provide your details at the time you must report the accident in person to the police without delay and in any event within 24 hours.

Failure to stop can be a serious offence especially when there is an injury or a death. It is used in hit and run cases and can be punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to six months. The court can also ban you from driving or impose between 5 – 10 penalty points.

Failure to stop at the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident are actually two separate offences. The police can charge you with one or both.

They cover a wide spectrum of severity.

The same charges are used where a person has been killed and the driver has fled the scene (hit-and-run) where the court may wish to consider imprisonment. However they are also frequently brought (coupled with “driving without due care and attention“) when a minor bump to a parked car is witnessed by a third party in a car park and the person involved does not wait or leave their name and address – even if there is no apparent damage to the car.

In any event these are serious charges which the courts take very seriously and you always need to take legal advice if you are accused of either failure to stop or failure to report an accident. The implication is that you sought to have escaped your responsibilities or had something else to conceal such as lack of insurance or driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

If the damage is minimal and to a vehicle or other property it may well be possible that we can persuade the prosecution to drop the charges. However if the accident is serious and/or involves injury the chances are it will proceed to court.

If you did not stop or report the accident you will need to explain the circumstances as to precisely why you did not do so in mitigation or as a special reasons argument as to why you did not do so.

These are complex and require detailed knowledge of court procedure. and you will benefit from expert representation in court. However at the very least you should seek detailed and free legal advice from us. The initial step is to send me details of your case through the AutoMate free motor legal advice website at the address below and we will arrange a free telephone consultation with an expert motoring lawyer within one business day.

We will be able to advise you further on how to win your case, get the charges dropped or at least minimise the penalty.


Source by Lucy Bonham Carter