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Failure to Remain at the Scene of an Accident
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act identifies a number of requirements for drivers involved in an accident. Most importantly, the parties involved are required to remain at the scene, or return immediately and remain until the police arrive.
Further, in any collision that involves damage or injury, drivers are required to give certain personal information to the other party who sustained injuries or damage to their vehicle, as well as to witnesses or a police officer, upon request. This includes your name, address, driver's licence number, insurance, and if different from the driver, the name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle.
When there is $1000 in vehicle/property damage, damage to roadway infrastructure or personal injury, anyone involved in a collision is obligated to phone the police and wait for their arrival. Failure to Remain at the scene of an accident is sometimes referred to as a 'Hit and Run'. Individuals who leave the scene of an accident may be charged either with Failure to Remain at the Scene of Accident under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, or Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident under the Criminal Code of Canada. The police have some discretion with regards to which charges are applied, but typically, criminal charges will be laid when there were injuries along with a Failure to Remain.
The difference between an accident in which no one is injured and a more serious accident resulting in personal injury is that, in the latter case, after calling 911 for Emergency Services, it is advisable that you also contact an Ontario criminal defence attorney. Once the police arrive, they will immediately question you in an attempt to get the facts as to what happened. As always, exercise your right to remain silent when questioned by police; let your lawyer do all the talking for you.
As the police conduct their inquiry, if you inadvertently make an incriminating statement of any kind, you may be found to be responsible and negligent in the collision, whether wholly or in part. This could affect your insurance rates, and may also result in careless driving charges and a future lawsuit by the other driver or vehicle occupants.
If you are charged with the crime of Failure to Remain at the scene of an accident or any other driving-related charges, the Ted Yoannou team can advise you of your rights and what to expect in a trial. If you wish to proceed with our help, we will formulate a best defense based on any circumstances related to the arrest process or your actions that can lead to dismissal of the charges. We have successfully helped numerous clients in defending driving related charges, and will apply our expertise and most zealous efforts to your case.