A car scratches one parking and one standing car slightly (with less then 5mph speed) and drives off. Afterwards the police come and inspect the vehicle and take samples of the scratches.

The person has had no prior issues with police or with driving.

What is the likely charge for such a minor hit and run in Germany?


The hitting by itself would not be too bad (though the police would likely take a close look because of the two scratched cars – was the driver drunk or something?), but the subsequent running constitutes a crime under § 142 StGB (official but non-authoritative translation). The maximum sentence for this is imprisonment for three years, but a first-time offender would most likely be sentenced to a fine corresponding to a few months’ income, if there are no aggravating circumstances.

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    In other words, the "run" is much much worse than the "hit". – gnasher729 Sep 8 '16 at 9:55

For a first-time offender there is definitely no risk of prison if its about pure material damage. Every case is unique as the judge also decides based on the offender's personal background, financial situation, behavior, etc.

The internet is full of information about the 1300 euro threshold, however, note that the police estimate is very decisive here. Even if the damage estimate is well above 1300, what is important is whether the offender could have noticed such high damage. Therefore, even if one is accused with a damage above 1300 euros, if the police estimate is below that threshold one still has a good chance of keeping their license and receiving a relatively small fine.

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    §142 StGB mentioned in the other answer doesn't say anything about pure material damage. Just "accident" and "leaving". – gnasher729 Sep 8 '16 at 16:21

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