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Massachusetts G.L.c. 90, § 24 (2)(a ½)(1): Failure to Stop After Causing Personal Injury

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, section 24 governs a wide variety of motor vehicle related criminal offenses. Specifically, under section 24(2)(a ½)(1) a person may be charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury.

The statute defines this offense as follows:

“Whoever operates a motor vehicle upon any way or in any place to which the public has right of access, or upon any way or in any place to which members of the public shall have access as invitees or licensees, and without stopping and making known his name, residence and the registration number of his motor vehicle, goes away after knowingly colliding with or otherwise causing injury to any person…”

A conviction of a charge under section 24(2)(a ½)(1) requires that the government prove several essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. First, the government must prove that the defendant operated a motor vehicle;
  2. Second, they must prove that this operation occurred on a public way, or in a place where members of the public have access;
  3. Third, they must prove that by this operation the defendant did collide with or otherwise injure another person;
  4. Fourth they must prove that the defendant knew that he had collided with or otherwise injured another person; and
  5. Finally, they must prove that after knowingly causing such injury the defendant failed to stop and provide name, address and registration number.

As with the crime of leaving the scene after causing property damage, the law here likewise provides that the driver of the vehicle has an affirmative duty to immediately stop at the scene and offer the specific information required, and that this information be provided directly to the person injured when reasonably possible. If not reasonably possible, such information should be provided to a police officer.

The extent of the person’s injuries is not relevant to proving this charge; the extent of the injuries however may serve as circumstantial evidence of whether or not the defendant knew there had been a collision.

Although the elements of the crimes are very similar, a charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury is far more serious then a charge of leaving the scene of property damage; this charge may be investigated and pursued far more vigorously and carry much harsher penalties.


A person convicted under this statute of leaving scene of an accident causing personal injury may face a penalty of imprisonment for not less than 6 months or a maximum of 2 years and by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.

The statute does not allow for a charge under this section to be continued without a finding or placed on file.

Defenses to charges of leaving the scene of personal injury

Experienced criminal defense attorneys will be able to help you explore all options for defenses and favorable resolutions to the charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury. Where there may be witnesses or video surveillance of the incident defending against these charges can be difficult. However, in certain circumstances there may be opportunities to challenging the identity of the vehicle operator, as well as other possible defenses.

Related Offenses:
  • M.G.L. c. 90 § 24(1) – Operating Under the Influence
  • M.G.L. c. 90 § 24G – Vehicular Homicide
  • M.G.L. c. 90 § 24(2)(a) – Operating to Endanger
  • M.G.L. c. 90 § 24(2)(a ½)(1) – Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Resulting in Death
  • M.G.L. c. 90 § 24(2)(a) – Leaving the scene of an Accident – Property Damage
Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer 617-263-6800

If you or someone you know has been charged with motor vehicle related crime in Massachusetts, contact the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. Attorney Neyman has multiple decades of experience defending those who have been accused of such offenses in Boston and all throughout Massachusetts. He is an aggressive and smart attorney who is relentless in protecting the rights of his clients. You can reach Attorney Neyman by calling 617-263-6800 or by sending him an email at steve@neymanlaw.com. He offers free and confidential initial consultations, which he will schedule at your convenience.

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