One New York City legislator wants to make it more difficult for those who flee an accident to get away with the crime. Manhattan Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez recently introduced a bill that would establish a fund for rewards for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers who kill or seriously injure someone. The fund would provide a $1,000 reward per tip.
According to NYPD statistics, arrest rates for serious hit-and-run crashes are extremely low. Between July 2015 and June 2016, there were 38 fatal hit-and-run crashes, but of those only 13 resulted in arrests. There were 22 hit-and-run crashes where the victim was seriously injured, but only 14 arrests. That’s an arrest rate of just 45%. The arrest rate for murder in NYC is 86%.
In addition to the reward fund, legislators are drafting a bill to create a city-wide alert system that would release the make and model of any car involved in a hit-and-run. In addition, another bill in the works would invest more resources in the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad, which handles hit-and-run and other accident investigations.
The consequences for leaving the scene of an accident in New York State vary depending on the circumstances. For minor accidents with no injuries, the penalty is $250 plus three points on your license, and up to 15 days in jail. For accidents involving injuries, you could face up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fines. Throughout most of the state, the maximum possible fine for a hit-and-run is $5,000. However, in December 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio increased the maximum civil penalty for a hit-and-run in NYC to $20,000. All of this is in addition to any penalties for the crash or other traffic violations related to the accident.
It is essential that you retain an attorney if you or someone you love has been arrested for a hit-and-run or any other motor vehicle crime in New York. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.