NYC Leaving the Scene of an Accident OATH Ticket

New York’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is an independent tribunal where certain hearings are held when the summons are issued by the New York Police Department, and other government agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, Port Authority, and the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

The OATH agency is part of NYC’s largest administrative court that conducts hearings on violations and summonses issued by City agencies for “quality of life” infractions (those infractions involving the failure to protect health, safety, and the environment) including leaving the scene of an accident.

Did you receive a Leaving the Scene of an Accident OATH ticket in New York City? We have extensive experience fighting thousands of traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York state; and we have a skilled team of lawyers who are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!

What Constitutes Leaving the Scene of an Accident in New York? 

Accidents happen. Sometimes, they are the results of someone’s negligence.  Regardless of whose fault, motorists involved in an accident may not leave the scene.

Specifically, Section 600 of New York’s Traffic and Vehicle Laws (VTL) defines leaving the scene of an accident as what occurs when a driver who knows or has cause to know that they have caused damage to the property of another without stopping at the place where the accident occurred.  Under the VTL, illegally leaving the scene of an accident carries 3 points, and a fine and surcharge.  If there is a serious injury, then the charge is elevated to a misdemeanor subjecting the accused, if convicted, to a criminal record.

In addition to stopping, drivers are required to exhibit their driver’s license, as well as proof of car insurance to the owner of the damaged property. The parties are also required to exchange the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Name of car insurance company
  • Effective dates of car insurance coverage
  • Insurance Policy number
  • Driver’s license number

If the owner of the damaged property is not present at the scene of the accident, the negligent party is required to report the damage to the nearest police station.

If a person was injured during the accident, the fine increases to $5,000, plus additional surcharges. 

What are the Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident? 

While they can be shocking, Section 19-191 of New York’s Administrative Code establishes that leaving the scene of an accident exposes you to legal liability, including:

  • A fine of up to $250 (plus applicable mandatory fees)
  • Imprisonment of up to 15 days
  • Both the fine and imprisonment

If the driver has committed the same infraction before, any subsequent violations are considered to be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000.

If a person is injured in the accident, the civil penalty between $2,000 and $10,000 for the first violation. This penalty increases between $10,000 and $15,000 for a subsequent violation.

If a person dies in the accident, in addition to criminal charges, the fine increases to $20,000.

There are certain limited exceptions to these liabilities, but the circumstances have to be very specific, such as feeling unsafe, requiring medical care, or being on your way to notify a police department.

What Happens When You Get an OATH Ticket?

When you look at the summons, you will find a date and time for a hearing date. You are required to file an answer by the hearing date. If you fail to do so, OATH will enter a default judgment against you, and your penalties will increase.

If you want to accept the charges, you can mark so on the summons and send your payment by the hearing date (you can also pay online). However, keep in mind that doing may expose you to:

  • A fine and a surcharge
  • Additional administrative fees
  • An unfavorable outcome that can be used against you in a related civil proceeding

How To Request an OATH Hearing

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OATH is strongly encouraging remote hearings. These can be done in person if you request so at a minimum three business days before your hearing — and it is not guaranteed that it will be approved.

Regardless of whether your hearing is in person or remote, you will have to submit your defense on or before your hearing date. Examples of anything that may help your defense include:

  • Photos
  • Surveillance video 
  • Dashcam footage
  • Witness testimony

Requesting an In-Person Hearing

To request an in-person hearing, email livehearings@oath.nyc.gov. If OATH determines that this will not result in an undue burden to any of the parties, and everyone can ensure public health protections, they will approve the request.

Requesting a Phone Hearing

If you are ok with conducting the hearing by phone, fill out an OATH online form. You can also opt in to receive text message reminders about your case by texting OATHReminder to 917-451-8829.

Even if you are appearing by phone, all parties are expected to conduct themselves the same way they would be at a courtroom, so make sure to set aside plenty of time to focus exclusively on the call.

Requesting an Online Hearing

If you request a virtual hearing, it will be held telephonically. You will have to submit your evidence in advance and secure a reliable phone connection, and avoid distractions. An OATH employee will be available to provide assistance with the platform. 

How a New York Traffic Attorney Can Help

Since 1991, Weiss & Associates, PC have made fighting your traffic ticket as easy as possible. You do not have to appear in court, for instance  We offer an initial free consultation, flat fees, and experienced traffic lawyers who will vigorously defend you.

We have extensive experience fighting thousands of traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York state; and we have a skilled team of lawyers who are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!

OATH Hearing Locations 

OATH has Hearing Division locations in all boroughs.

Manhattan

66 John Street
10th and 11th Floors
New York, NY 10038

Phone: 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692)
Fax: 212-361-1900
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Brooklyn

9 Bond Street
6th and 7th Floors
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692)
Fax: 718-875-5561
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Bronx

260 E. 161 Street, 6th Floor
Bronx, NY 10451

Phone: 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692)
Fax: 718-993-3077
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Queens

31-00 47 Avenue
3rd and 4th Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692) on hearing days
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Staten Island

350 St. Marks Place
Main Floor
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692) on hearing days
Fax: 718-815-8391
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

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