Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident LSPDA in the 16th District Court in Livonia Michigan
Leaving the scene of a property damage accident carries six points, significant driver responsibility fees, but no mandatory licensing sanctions.
MCL 257.618 states
(1) The driver of a vehicle who knows or who has reason to believe that he has been involved in an accident upon public or private property that is open to travel by the public shall immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall remain there until the requirements of section 619 are fulfilled or immediately report the accident to the nearest or most convenient police agency or officer to fulfill the requirements of section 619(a) and (b) if there is a reasonable and honest belief that remaining at the scene will result in further harm. The stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(2) If an individual violates the requirements of subsection (1) and the accident results in damage to a vehicle operated by or attended by any individual, the individual is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.
This is a 90 day misdemeanor, and you are entitled to a jury trial.
Note: If the accident does not result in damage to a vehicle, MCL 257.901(2) applies, which is Michigan’s generic motor vehicle misdemeanor statute. A generic motor vehicle misdemeanor is a 90 day misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $100 plus court costs.
Jury Instruction for LSPDA
M Crim JI 15.14 sets forth the elements of leaving the scene of an accident causing damage to a vehicle. The instruction provided to a jury in this case is as follows:
The defendant is charged with failing to stop after an accident involving causing property damage. To prove this charge the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1)First, the defendant was the driver of a motor vehicle.
(2)Second, the motor vehicle driven by the defendant was involved in an accident.
(3)Third, the defendant knew or had reason to know that [he / she] had been involved in an accident on a public road or any property open to travel by the public.
(4)Fourth, that the accident resulted in damage to a vehicle driven or attended by another.
(5)Fifth, that the defendant failed to immediately stop [his / her] motor vehicle at the scene of the accident in order to render assistance and give information required by law, or to immediately report the accident to the nearest or most convenient police agency or officer if there was a reasonable and honest belief that remaining at the scene would result in further harm. The requirement that the driver “immediately stop” means that the driver must stop and park the car as soon as practicable and reasonable under the circumstances and without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
Penalties for LSPDA
For an accident that results in “damage to a vehicle operated by or attended by any individual,” MCL 257.618(2) provides for the following penalties:
•imprisonment for not more than 90 days; or
•fine of not more than $100; or
Sanctions for LSPDA
•This charge abstracts to your driving record. Points remain on your license for 2 years, but the charge will remain on your driver's license history indefinitely.
•Leaving the scene of a property damage accident carries six (6) points. See MCL 257.320a(1)(d); MCL 257.732(1)(a).
•$1,000 driver responsibility fee each year for 2 consecutive years. See MCL 257.732a(2)(a)(iv).
You can read about a LSPDA case victory here, which is only one of many cases that I have handled over 20 years of practicing law.