The law in Illinois makes leaving the scene of an accident a serious criminal offense that can result in incarceration. If you have been involved in a crash and drove away, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Drivers who are involved in an accident involving property damage without injury or death must provide information to the other driver(s). Failure to do so can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. See 625 ILCS 5/11-402. The penalty for this offense is up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
If you are charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident and the court finds you guilty, the Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license if it is determined that the damage to any vehicle is over $1,000.
An accident involving property damage less than $1,500 does not have to be reported to the police. However, if any vehicle involved in the wreck is uninsured and there is more than $500 in property damage, the accident must be reported to the police.
All drivers involved in accidents must file an Illinois Crash Report at the nearest police department if the crash resulted in the death of a person, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 in property damage. See 625 ILCS 5/11-406. A driver is required to report an accident regardless of who was at fault for causing the crash.
The Illinois Crash Report is available at the police station and should be sent to the Illinois Department of Transportation no later than 10 days after the crash. Failure to submit the report may cause the Secretary of State to suspend your driver’s license.
If you crashed into a parked car, you have to report the accident. See 625 ILCS 5/11-404. Any driver involved in an accident resulting in damage to an unattended vehicle must leave his or her name, address, telephone number, and license plate on the vehicle and notify the police. Failure to leave such information and report the accident to the police may result in a Class A misdemeanor offense.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death is a felony offense. Personal injury is defined as any injury that requires immediate medical care. It is a Class 4 felony offense (1-3 years prison) to leave the scene without providing information and assistance to the injured driver(s). See 625 ILCS 5/11-401. If you leave the scene and fail to report the accident within 30 minutes to the nearest police station, the offense is a Class 2 felony (3-7 years prison).
The police have a right to request a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs for at least 12 hours after the time of the accident. Failure to submit to such a test will result in a summary suspension of your driver’s license.
Conviction for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury or death will cause the Secretary of State to revoke your driver’s license.
Leaving the scene of an accident is not just a traffic ticket. It is a criminal offense.