Florida requires drivers to perform certain procedures in the event of an accident with another vehicle, public property or a pedestrian. The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run, are incredibly serious in the state of Florida. However, if injury is involved in the crime then the criminal consequences for the crime are increased drastically.
When a person violates Florida’s hit and run laws it’s typically charged as a misdemeanor, but when injury occurs the offender could face felony charges. The degree of felony offense will depend on the severity of the injuries that a person sustained. Additionally, the victim doesn’t have to sustain a serious injury for the defendant to face leaving the scene with injury charges. The offender could still face felony level charges even if the injury isn’t particularly serious.
If you or someone you know has been charged with hit and run involving injury, then it’s important you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Were you arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident involving injury? Do not say anything to authorities until you are able to contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. We collectively have over 30 years of experience we want to utilize for your case.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers aggressively defend clients accused of traffic crimes in communities all over the West Palm Beach area such as Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Greenacres, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and many others. We also represent people in other surrounding counties including Broward County, St. Lucie County, Martin County and Palm Beach County. Call (561) 557-8686 today to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Hit and Run with Injury
Florida drivers are required to abide by traffic laws and must perform certain duties after an automobile accident. This includes accidents with public property, stand-still automobiles and especially crashes that result in some type of injury. Failure to perform these duties will result in a criminal charge of leaving the scene of an accident.
Under Florida law, if you are involved in an automobile crash that caused another person’s injury, then you must perform the following duties:
It’s important to understand that if no officer is present or available at the crash, then you must give a report of the crash to the nearest office of a duly authorized policy authority.
Most leaving the scene cases result in relatively minor criminal charges with light penalties. When another person is injured, however, due to the crash the penalties are enhanced drastically. Leaving the scene of an accident that involves a type of injury could result in a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
Florida does have distinct penalties for cases that involve serious bodily injury. The term “serious bodily injury” is any physical injury to a person that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
No one ever intends to hurt another person when they find themselves in a hit and run. When tragedy strikes and another person dies because of an accident, it can cause some people to panic. It’s common to hear of offenders leaving the scene of an accident involving death because they were in complete shock from the event. The trauma can cause some people to act out of character, but that doesn’t mean they won’t face criminal penalties.
If death is involved in a hit and run case, then the charge will be enhanced to a third-degree felony. The maximum penalties for a third-degree felony include:
Hit and Run Awareness – Visit the official website for the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) to learn more about hit and runs in Florida. Access the site to learn more about the penalties, statistics for cases in the state of Florida and updates on press releases regarding Florida hit and run fatalities.
Duty to Give Information & Render Aid – Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to learn more about your duty to give information and render aid in the event of an automobile crash. Learn the criminal penalties of failing to do these duties, how it intersects with a person’s right to not self-incriminate themselves and what to do if law enforcement isn’t available after a crash that involves injury.
If you believe that you could be under investigation or you were already arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of a crash resulting in injury to another person, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents individuals in communities throughout Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.
Our traffic defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable outcome that results in the fewest possible consequences. You can have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (561) 557-8686 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
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