So this actually happened a few weeks ago. I just moved to the suburbs of New Jersey from Philadelphia so keep in mind that I still very much so have a "city mentality". I was at a friends house for a zoom baby shower and I ended up staying all day and playing video games with them and eating sushi. My boyfriend met me there later on to hang out and parked next to me in the driveway. They live on the entrance to a cul-de-sac.
We were getting ready to leave around 12:30 AM and my phone had died so I figured I would back out behind him and follow him home since I am new to the area. I pulled out extra wide to give him space and I did not see a dark blue car parked behind their driveway (it was pretty hazy/foggy that night) and I scratched the side of the car with my tail light. Minimal body damage was done to the door, a few scratches, a little bit of paint from my car. I got out of my car, immediately wrote a note with my information on it, and decided to go home so I could charge my phone and call my insurance.
I got home and immediately called my insurance and they requested I upload a copy of the police report. Ok, ill call the police, let them know what happened, shouldn't be a big deal, this happens all the time right? wrong. The cop told me he was going to charge me with a hit and run. He accused me of being drunk (I was not at all). I offered to meet him at the station, at the scene of the accident, at my house. He refused to meet me anywhere he told me it was "too late I had already made the wrong choice and he was forced to charge me" I started to drive back to the "scene of the accident" and he told me on the phone to pull over and immediately send him all of my information in an email. I complied with everything he told me to do. He told me he was going to the residence of the people who's car I hit to notify them and that they were "probably going to want to press charges against me".
I told him to call me back after he got done there. He never did. The next day I was able to get in touch with the neighbor who was awesome. She was super understanding and if anything was just mad the cop showed up at her house at 1 AM. She told me he said "we are forced to charge her since she left the scene" and the neighbor replied "she left a note, anyone would have done that, its 1 AM, this is not necessary" and at that point he urged them to press charges on me because I "could have been drunk and am old enough to know better".
A week goes by and I hear nothing from the officer. The car is in the shop getting fixed and my insurance is paying for it. The neighbors have no intent of pressing any charges against me. I send the neighbors a basket filled with milkbar cookies for causing them any trouble. Yesterday I get a ticket in the mail for "leaving the scene of an accident" with a mandatory court appearance and I just hired a very expensive lawyer. I work in sales and have a company car I have to drive for work. My lawyer wanted to know how the police even got involved, to which I replied "I called them". I called the cops on myself. Now I have to pay a lot of money to get it fixed. I could lose my job over a bad driving record. so yeah, TIFU.
TL;DR - accidentally scratched a car, thought i did the right thing, might lose my license for 6 months
EDIT: wow did not know this would blow up! thanks for all the support! to all the people calling me a dumbass - isn't that the entire point of this subreddit? i prefer anonymity (hence the throwaway account) for now until my court date and afterwards I will let everyone know how it goes!
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