In Florida, the law dictates that as a driver of a vehicle, you are required to stop at the scene of an accident. If a driver fails to meet this duty, then they will be charged with the criminal offense of leaving the scene of an accident in Bradenton.
Leaving the scene of an accident is more commonly known as a hit and run. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that almost 25% of all traffic collisions involve a hit and run. In the report, they also note that over 81% of all hit and run traffic fatalities occur during dawn, dusk, or nighttime conditions.
If you fail to stop at the scene of an accident, then you could be facing serious penalties. At The Law Place, we have a team of dedicated traffic defense lawyers who have the necessary skills to manage your case and ensure you receive the best possible outcome. At our law firm, we understand the pressures you may be under when facing criminal charges. Our lawyers will work hard to ensure that your journey through the Florida legal system is as smooth and as stress-free as possible. Our phone lines are open around the clock, so our criminal defense attorneys can be here to offer information and support at any time of day. Call The Law Place in Bradenton today on (941) 444-4444, and arrange a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Florida Statutes Relating to Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- The driver must stop immediately following a car accident and remain as close as possible to the scene of the accident.
- If requested, the driver is required to show their driver’s license.
- The driver is required to provide identification to the other driver and any police officers at the scene of the accident. Such identification includes the name, phone number, and address of the driver, as well as the driver’s license, car registration, and any insurance information.
- In the event that a driver hits a property or structure, then they must attempt to locate the owner of the property if there were no eyewitnesses to the incident. If unsuccessful in finding the owner, then they are required to write a notice with their name and address and leave it in a visible safe place close to the scene of the accident. The driver is also required to inform the police of the accident.
Additionally, if you are involved in a traffic collision that has resulted in injury or even death, then you are required to call for an ambulance and also be on hand to offer assistance. This assistance may include making arrangements for the injured to be transported to the hospital or even transporting the injured person to the hospital yourself. The driver must also report the accident to law enforcement if the other driver is unable to call for help.
What Are the Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Bradenton?
The penalties that a driver will face for leaving the scene of an accident will depend on a number of factors, including the circumstances surrounding the crash and whether the accident resulted in property damage, serious bodily injury, or even death. The general punishment guidelines for those that leave the scene of an accident are as follows:
- Accidents involving property damage – If you leave the scene of a car accident that resulted in property damage, then you may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could be facing a $500 fine, a prison sentence of up to 60 days, and up to 6 months on probation.
- Accidents involving bodily injury – If you leave the scene of a car accident that resulted in bodily injury, then you could be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or on probation and up to $5,000 payable in fines.
- Accidents involving serious bodily injury – This is classed as a second-degree felony and can result in punishments of up to 15 years behind bars and a fine of $10,000.
- Accidents involving death – If you leave the scene of a car accident that resulted in another person dying, then you could face a first-degree felony charge, which is the most serious charge you can be issued. A first-degree felony is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of $10,000. All drivers who cause injury or an accident on the road may also be subject to a driver’s license revocation.
If you are facing criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, then it is important to seek legal representation from a Bradenton car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer will be able to guide you through the legal process and build a strong case that can be used to fight for your rights. Call our law firm in Bradenton at any time to arrange a free consultation.
What Are the Penalties if the Accident Occurs While Driving Under the Influence?
If you are convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, you would normally receive a fine of up to $1,000 and a prison sentence of six months. However, in the event that you flee the scene of a DUI, then the potential charges can increase dramatically, particularly if the accident resulted in serious bodily injury or death. If you are charged for leaving the scene of an accident under DUI, then you will receive a prison sentence of up to four years.
No matter the charges you are facing, at The Law Place, we have a team of attorneys who can offer comprehensive legal information and support at no-obligation. Contact us for a free consultation with a highly knowledgeable attorney.
Defenses to Leaving the Scene of an Accident
A skilled lawyer will have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to develop a strong defense strategy that can be used in court. There are a number of different defense strategies that may be employed for cases relating to leaving the scene of an accident. Some of the most common defense strategies include:
- Lack of knowledge – The driver lacked awareness or knowledge that there was an impact with another driver or another person’s property.
- Failure to stop – The driver’s failure to stop was not deliberate or intentional, but it was dictated by an urgent set of circumstances.
- Stopped as close as possible – The driver tried to stop as close to the location of the accident as they possibly could.
- Refusal – The other driver involved in the accident refused to provide information for identification.
- Identity – The identity of the driver is up for dispute.
- Belligerence – The other driver became belligerent or threatening, and they demanded that the driver leave the scene to call law enforcement.
- Reasonable assistance – The driver offered reasonable assistance to the injured, within the boundaries of the Florida statute.
A charge of leaving the scene of an accident does not necessarily result in a conviction. A Bradenton car accident attorney can gather relevant information that can be used to support your defense. A skilled lawyer will also be allowed to make early contact with the prosecutor in order to negotiate a more lenient resolution. Contact our law firm today to receive valuable legal advice at no-obligation.
How Can a Bradenton Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you or a loved one has found yourself to be accused of leaving the scene of an accident in Florida, then you may wish to seek representation from a traffic defense lawyer. A leaving the scene of an accident conviction, more commonly known as a hit and run, can be a complex case, and it is important to have a reputable law firm on your side to help you through the legal process.
Under Florida law, it is a serious offense to leave the scene of an accident without acting upon your statutory duties, which is a legal requirement for every driver. If an unlawful departure from the location of an accident occurs, then this can lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the severity of the incident.
At The Law Place, we offer all our customers a free consultation where we will assess your case and offer valuable legal advice on the next best steps to take. If you then decide to be represented by our law firm, our car accident lawyers will arrange a further consultation. During this consultation, they will conduct an extensive investigation in which they will assess the intricacies and finite details of your case.
Our attorneys will analyze any evidence and information being used against you and will work to build a strong defense strategy that can be used in the courtroom. Our lawyers will also negotiate with the prosecution to see if penalties can be reduced. At The Law Place, our car accident lawyers strongly advise that you take your criminal charges very seriously as this will reflect well on your character and may contribute to proving to the judge and jury that you are taking responsibility for your actions.
Contact The Law Place in Bradenton Today
If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Bradenton, FL., then you may wish to seek legal advice and representation from a defense lawyer. At The Law Place, we have a team of adept attorneys with over 75 years of collective experience in handling a variety of cases and achieving successful outcomes.
Developing honest attorney-client relationships built on trust is vitally important at The Law Place. Our car accident lawyers understand how stressful facing criminal charges can be, and we want to make sure you aren’t paying for one little mistake for the rest of your life.
Many of our attorneys are AVVO rated 10.0, the highest possible rating. An AVVO rating is awarded based on a number of factors, including the length of practice, trial skills, and the number of awards, as well as client reviews and testimonials. So your case will be in the best possible hands.
Our Bradenton offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can be on hand to offer legal advice and information at any time of day. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and receive a free consultation with one of our highly skilled attorneys.