An honest mistake, a moment of panic, or other circumstances may lead a driver to leave the scene of an auto accident. According to Florida Statute § 316.062, a driver involved in an incident must remain on the scene to give information or aid as needed.
Unfortunately, this isn't always possible, and when a driver does not follow this law, he or she may be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run or hit and skip. This offense carries heavy penalties in Florida, and can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Possible consequences can include jail time, fines, probation, and revocation of driving privileges.
No matter the circumstances of the accident, a skilled defense attorney may be able to pursue outcomes such as case dismissal, not guilty verdicts, deferred adjudication, and other favorable outcomes. Car accidents are highly stressful, and emotions can lead to a moment of confusion.
The lawyers at Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced in representing clients facing a range of traffic offenses in Florida. Our attorneys are dedicated to giving personalized care to each case, and they can form a customized defense that's just for you, ensuring the optimization of your defensive strategy.
For a free consultation about how to aggressively fight this serious charge, contact us today at Adkinson Law Firm, LLC. Time is extremely important in traffic cases, so don't hesitate to seek legal counsel.
Florida Statute § 316.062 states that in the events of a crash resulting in damaging the property of another person, injury, or death, the drivers of any vehicle involved must provide the following information to other drivers involved:
All drivers are also legally obligated to give reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the crash. This can include seeking medical help, carrying individuals out of harm's way, or treating injuries within the person's ability.
In the event that a driver leaves the scene of an accident involving injury to a person without exchanging information at all, they face a third-degree felony, which can be punished by up to five years in jail and / or a maximum fine of $5,000.
However, if the accident results in the death of a person, the consequences increase to a first-degree felony, which carries a sentence of up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 30 years in prison. If an individual is involved in an accident in which a person died while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and flees the scene, that person faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, if convicted. If a person has been previously convicted of hit and run, regardless of whether it was a DUI, they will be held in custody until bail is determined.
A common scenario but less commonly understood circumstance involves property damage in an auto accident. Even in circumstances such as a parked car, mailbox, garden, or other property being damaged, the driver involved is still legally obligated to leave the appropriate contact information in a conspicuous place if the property owner is not readily available. The driver is also required to notify law enforcement of the incident. Failure to properly report the incident can lead to charges of a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to 60 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.
Whether you are facing charges for destroying property or leaving the scene of a deadly collision in Florida, hiring a skilled attorney is important to maximize your chances of having your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. At Adkinson Law Firm, LLC, our DeFuniak Springs criminal defense lawyers will fight aggressively to defend you from these serious penalties.
We represent clients facing traffic charges in Destin, Bay County, Walton County, Okaloosa County, Escambia County, and surrounding areas. For a free consultation about your individual case, call us today at or submit an online form.