I hit a fence right next to my house late at night, so I just walked home and went back to the area the next morning. No one was injured and it was only front bumper damage. Now I recieved this charge. I am a law student and I want to know how serious is the charge?
Criminal Defense Attorney
I suggest you contact an attorney right away to consult on your options. As a law student, you don't want such a charge showing up on your record before you seek admission. Whenever there is property damage and/or injury involved in situations like this, you should be especially careful.
Next time, report it before they charge you. Its much easier to deal with then.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If the accident resulted in a small amount of property damage only, then the charge is relatively less serious than high property damage or personal injury. Consult a local attorney to determine whether there would be any future impact on your record. In NJ, such a conviction with minor property damage would be a disorderly persons offense, which means when asked on an application for admission to the bar whether you were ever convicted of a felony or a crime, the answer would be "no."
If that was the only damage, it is a misdemeanor. I would still suggest hiring counsel and try to get driving school and/or community service. You do not want this charge on your record. You will have to report it to the bar when you apply.
[This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]