Hit and Run Accidents
The responsibilities issued in conjunction with the privilege of driving are serious and multitudinous. Under Florida hit and run law, one of these responsibilities is the duty to render aid and exchange information in the event of a car accident that results in property damage or bodily injury. Drivers are legally required to stop and exchange personal and insurance information as described by Statute 316.062. In Florida, if you fail to remain at the site of a vehicle crash and fulfill your obligations, you could be charged with the crime of leaving the scene of an accident.
What Must I Do Following a Car Accident in South Florida?
Under the above statute, drivers involved in a car accident must exchange their names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and upon request they must exchange driver license information.
Whoever was not injured in the accident is required to stay with the victims until rescue and police arrive. The person must render “reasonable assistance” to get the injured person or persons to safety. An effort must also be made to move the damaged vehicles out of the way of oncoming traffic. All this and more can be found in Statute 316.027.
Injured persons must not be abandoned. You face serious criminal charges if harmed persons are left behind, or if the accident resulted in serious property damage. If only minor damage occurred, a hit and run could result in a traffic citation, which is a noncriminal offense.
What are Penalties for a Florida Hit and Run in Florida?
Leaving the scene of an accident is commonly referred to as a “hit and run.” This is a criminal offense when others are harmed or property damage occurs. A hit and run in Florida can be anything from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense depending on the severity of the accident in question. Almost no two cases are alike, and you should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney who specializes in serious traffic violations if you have been arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident.
Misdemeanor Hit and Run
When only property damage is a consequence of a hit and run accident in Florida, you could face second degree misdemeanor charges. This means that up to 60 days of jail time are possible, or 6 months of probation, along with fines of up to $500.00.
Felony Hit and Run
Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in personal injuries to another person or persons is a third degree felony in Florida. You may years in prison or years of probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, you may be required to pay restitution to the injured parties. Your driver’s license would also be revoked in this situation.
To prove someone guilty of the crime of leaving the scene of an accident at trial, the State of Florida must establish four factual elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant was the driver of a vehicle that was involved in the crash that resulted in injury to or the death of another person or property damage.
- The defendant should have reasonably known he or she was involved in a crash that-
- Led to property damage, injury to another person, or death.
- The defendant willfully failed to stop at the scene or close to it and failed to exchange information with other drivers involved or to provide information to the investigating police officer, and failed to render aid.
Contact a South Florida Hit and Run Lawyer Near You
Even if multiple people were injured and left behind, only one count of leaving the scene of an accident can be applied. For more information about your Florida hit and run case, contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel and speak with Mr. Brian Gabriel. Attorney Brian Gabriel has served Palm Beach County for over 25 years dutifully seeking justice for the criminally accused. Call 561-622-5575 for a free case evaluation today.