The law against leaving the scene of an accident – or “hit and run” — in Florida is based on the duty that every driver has to remain at the scene and “give information and render aid” after being involved in a car crash. Statute 316.062 requires the operator of a motor vehicle to:
“give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her license or permit to drive, to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash and shall give such information and, upon request, exhibit such license or permit to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash and shall render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance…”
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal charge in Florida. Depending on circumstances, you could be facing jail time, probation, fines, loss of your driving license, and more. It’s in your best interest to talk with an attorney. Call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation with the Orlando criminal defense lawyers at the Rivas Law Firm.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage
According to Florida Statue 316.061, leaving the scene in an accident in which there was only property damage is a second-degree misdemeanor. A driver is required to stop at the scene and provide the other driver involved with his or her name, address, and registration number. A driver is also required to their driver’s license to the other party on request. Drivers are also required to provide license and registration information to any law enforcement officers on the scene. If you are convicted of the charge of leaving the scene, you could be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail and face a fine of up to $500.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injuries
Leaving the scene of an accident in which people were injured or killed is a far more serious offense. Florida Statute 316.027 states “The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property which results in injury to a person other than serious bodily injury shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and shall remain at the scene of the crash…”
A leaving the scene charge involving injuries is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, probation, and a fine of up to $5,000. Fleeing an accident scene involving a death is a first-degree felony with a four-year mandatory minimum prison sentence — up to 30 years. Additional punishments such as restitution and community service are added for DUI or repeat offenders.
People commonly use the phrase “hit and run” about accidents in which a driver hits a pedestrian – and keeps going. The statute uses the term “vulnerable road user” to describe pedestrians, skate boarders, cyclists, and others who are on the road not driving cars. Drivers convicted of hit and run accidents involving such “vulnerable road users” face additional
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are strong defenses to the serious charge of leaving the scene of an accident in Florida. Prosecutors have to prove several facts to get a conviction. They have to prove it was you driving the car, that you knew that there had been a serious accident and that you willfully left the scene without fulfilling your legal obligations.
An experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney will fight to protect your rights. Your lawyer can challenge police procedures, witness statements, and whatever evidence the prosecutors have. This aggressive stance, properly implemented, may give your attorney leverage in negotiating with prosecutors to reduce the charges. Under certain circumstances, a case may even be dismissed.
The main thing is to have a seasoned trial lawyer fighting for the best possible outcome in your case. For a free consultation with the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm call (407) 349-4211.