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Hit and Run in the State of Florida

Accidents happen. They can be terrifying, costly, and have legal ramifications. However, the absolute worst thing you can ever do after a crash is leave the scene of the accident. No matter how much legal trouble you may be in because of the crash itself, it will only be multiplied if you choose to flee. Here, we will discuss what you should do in the case of a crash and the potential legal outcome if you don’t abide by those laws.

Responsibility of the Driver

There are two type of crashes: property damage and bodily damage. There are statutes that outline what driver should do in each type of accident.  The following explains what you should do in each scenario:

For accidents that involve only property damage:

  • Safely stop as soon as possible;
  • Exchange identifying information with the other driver;
  • Call the police;
  • Provide identifying information to the officer; and
  • Locate the other drive if the vehicle is unattended. If unable to locate the other driver, you must securely leave identifying information for the driver.

For accidents that involve bodily damage:

  • Safely stop as soon as possible;
  • Exchange identifying information with the other driver;
  • Call the police;
  • Provide identifying information to the officer; and
  • If there is medical assistance needed, then you must provide “reasonable assistance” to ensure that medical help is attained.

If you fail to abide by the laws outlined above, then you are subject to being charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

The Burden of Prosecution

In order to be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, the following points must be proven by prosecution:

  • The defendant was the driver of the vehicle during the crash;
  • The defendant knew or should have known they he or she was in a wreck;
  • The defendant knew or should have known that they damaged property or caused bodily harm to another person; and
  • The defendant willfully failed to stop at the scene of the accident and provide the necessary documentation to officers.

If prosecution is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the points listed above, then the case qualifies for court.

Potential Outcomes

In a hit and run case, there are a number of potential outcomes based on specifics of the case. If the crash caused personal injury then the crime is classified as a third-degree felony. The punishment could be five years in prison, five years of probation and a fine up to $5,000.  However, if the accident involves death then you could face up to 30 years in prison. If the accident was a result of a person driving under the influence, then there is a mandatory 2 year prison sentence. If the wreck only caused property damage then it is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor punishable with a $500.

Quality Legal Defense

If you find yourself facing charges in a hit and run case, know that you have options. Scott Skier is located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Attorney Skier is a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who is there for each of his clients. If you need help navigating your case, call Attorney Skier today. He is available for a free consultation.

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