If you were caught leaving the scene of an accident, whether or not it involves property damage, serious bodily injury, or even death, you could be charged with the failure to fulfill your statutory duties by not remaining at the scene of the crash, according to Florida Statute 316.061.
Every driver assumes a duty of care when they pass their driving test, which requires that they operate their vehicle safely and in line with the rules of the road in the State of Florida. The law requires that all citizens travel mindfully in order to keep themselves and everyone else safe on the roadways in North Port. If a driver were to breach their duty of care by driving carelessly or getting caught leaving the scene of a crash, then they can expect to face punishment in a court of law.
A hit and run charge involving only property damage, with no injuries sustained, will most likely be classed as a misdemeanor offense in North Port. The penalties include having to pay a large fine, potential points on your driver’s license, possible jail time, and a period of probation. However, the penalties will be based on the facts and circumstances surrounding your leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage case in North Port. You must speak to a criminal defense lawyer with experience in handling hit and run cases to learn more about the consequences of your actions and how you can protect your legal rights under Florida law.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience in helping the citizens of Florida to contest their criminal traffic charges. Our practice areas cover driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, hit and run cases, and more. We have a dedicated team of criminal defense lawyers that specialize in fighting leaving the scene of an accident charges in North Port and throughout the State of Florida.
If you are looking for qualified legal counsel, get in contact with a criminal defense lawyer from our law firm today. We will help you to understand where to go from here. Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight your leaving the scene of an accident involving only property damage charges together in North Port. Phone lines are open 24/7.
Definition of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage in North Port, FL.
Florida Statute 316.027 defines leaving the scene of an accident as when the driver involved in the accident, which caused damage to property, personal injury, or death, willfully leaves the scene without providing the necessary identifying information as required by Florida law. Identifying information includes name, address, vehicle registration number, insurance information, and any other essential contact details.
To be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, the driver must know that they were involved in a collision of some kind. They must also be aware that property damage or personal injury occurred because of the crash.
The failure to report any property damage is recognized as a violation. If a personal injury or a death is involved in the case, then the driver must make themselves available to provide any support to the injured person. If the driver refuses to offer assistance, then this can result in facing serious penalties, which include prison time, large fines, and other consequences that can impact you for years.
If you are feeling confused or unsure of what to do next, then reach out to a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place today to set up a free consultation.
The Facts of a Hit and Run Case in North Port, FL.
American citizens are guaranteed freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. It is important that you find out if your legal rights were violated in any way.
Here are some key aspects to consider:
- Did you know that you were involved in a collision?
- Was there damage caused to another person’s vehicle or personal property?
- What is the estimated value of the property that was damaged?
- Prior to the crash, what was the condition of the property?
- Were there any eyewitnesses to the accident?
- Did the police officers read your Miranda rights?
- Was your statement obtained in an illegal manner?
Statutory Duties Involving Property Damage in North Port, FL.
In case of an accident involving only property damage to another person’s vehicle or personal property, you are required to fulfill your statutory duties before you are legally allowed to leave the scene:
- Stop – You must stop your vehicle near the location of the accident.
- Inform the owner – You must inform the owner of the car that their property has been damaged. You are also required to ask for their information, such as name, driver’s license, and vehicle registration number.
- Driver’s license – You must show your driver’s license to the reporting police officer or show it to the other driver upon request.
- Contact information – You must share your name, address, driver’s license, and vehicle registration number with the reporting police officer at the scene.
- Absent owner – You must track down the owner of the damaged property if they were absent from the collision when it occurred. If you are unable to find them, then you must write a note leaving your name, address, and vehicle registration number. Attach the note to the owner’s car or damaged property.
- Police report – You must notify the police department of the car accident as soon as possible.
A driver’s statutory duties for an accident involving only property damage are written in Florida Statute 316.063.
Proof Required by the Court of Law in North Port, FL.
The prosecutor must have evidence to be able to prove that the driver failed to fulfill their statutory duties. They will have to prove four factors beyond any reasonable doubt at trial:
- The driver was in the car that was involved in the collision, which resulted in property damage, bodily injury, or death.
- The driver should have been aware or knew that they were involved in a collision.
- The driver should have been aware or knew that the collision resulted in property damage, bodily injury, or death.
- The driver did not remain at the scene and did not stop near the location of the accident. Furthermore, they did not share their identifying information with the reporting police officer or the other driver involved in the collision.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in North Port, FL.
If you were caught leaving the scene of an accident, then your penalties will be determined by the damage or harm caused in the collision:
For accidents only involving property damage, you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. The list of punishments will include having to pay a $500 fine and spending up to 60 days in jail.
Defenses for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in North Port, FL.
If you are facing charges for a hit and run in North Port, then you are going to need all the help that you can get. Our team of criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place has numerous defense strategies that we can use to contest your charges in the State of Florida. We will work to reduce your charges and decrease the severity of the consequences by arguing:
- The identity of the driver that caused the accident is not confirmed and is heavily disputed.
- A lack of knowledge or awareness that a collision happened.
- A lack of knowledge or awareness that a collision happened that caused an impact on another person’s vehicle or personal property.
- The reason that the driver did not stop at the scene and fulfill their statutory duties was not intentional, as their actions were dictated by an emergency situation.
- The driver did their best to stop their car as close as possible to the scene of the accident.
- The other driver did not want to receive the identifying information that was being shared with them.
- The other driver was aggressive and confrontational. They demanded that the driver leave to find a police officer.
- The driver did offer reasonable assistance to the other injured person involved in the collision.
It is not always necessary for a leaving the scene of an accident charge to result in a conviction. It is important that you hire a criminal defense attorney with experience fighting hit-and-run cases to protect your legal rights in the State of Florida. It will truly make all the difference for your case.
Get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place as soon as possible after the accident. If you do, then they can negotiate with the prosecutor early on to agree on a more lenient resolution for your hit and run involving only property damage case in North Port. We will fight to help you avoid jail time, a probation period, and gaining a permanent criminal record.
Can I Be Charged If I Witnessed an Accident and Left the Scene in North Port, FL?
If you were a witness to an accident and left the scene in North Port, then there is no need to worry. You are not legally bound to remain at the scene of an accident that you were not involved in. However, it is always right to stop when an accident has occurred, especially if it is in a parking lot or in a street that is not particularly busy.
If you witnessed the other driver flee the scene after being involved in a crash, then you must pick up your phone and call 911 to help the injured person. It is possible that you could be asked to testify in court or provide a statement as a witness to the accident at a later date. You are not expected to change your entire schedule for an accident that you were not involved in, but your time and support could save the life of a car accident victim.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in North Port, FL.
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place have experience in defending all types of hit and run cases. We understand that one case is different from the next, and we will provide you with the support and guidance that you need to make the right decisions.
Here are some of the things we can do for you:
- Conduct an investigation into your charges.
- Collect and review all forms of evidence.
- Speak to any eyewitnesses of the incident.
- Deal with all the necessary paperwork.
- Negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges or call for a dismissal.
- Develop a strong defense strategy.
Contact The Law Place Today in North Port, FL.
If you are facing criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident in North Port, then you will likely be feeling at a loss for what to do next. We understand that you might have been wrongfully charged, or there was an emergency situation that explains your actions. In any case, you will need a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court to share your side of the story.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of collective experience when it comes to defending the legal rights of clients in North Port and all over the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth understanding of the laws on leaving the scene of an accident, and we will guide you through the legal system. We have managed countless cases involving traffic-related violations.
It is considered a criminal offense to leave the scene of a car crash before fulfilling your statutory duties. Your charges will ultimately depend on the severity of the accident, but you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor for a hit and run involving only property damage.
A criminal defense lawyer from our law firm will conduct a full investigation into your accident, gather information and evidence, speak to the reporting police officer that was at the scene of the accident, deal with the necessary paperwork, and negotiate with the prosecutor to settle on a fair outcome for your case in North Port.
Our law firm will work hard to develop a strong defense strategy for your case, and we will explore every possible option in an effort to reduce your charges and minimize the consequences of your hit and run involving property damage. We understand that you should not have to pay the price for the rest of your life for one honest mistake made from fear, and we want to be the ones to help you move on with your life.
Call our office today to set up a free consultation, where a criminal defense lawyer will discuss the details of your case and offer you some words of advice on how to best handle the situation. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, so we are available day and night for all potential clients.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight your leaving the scene of an accident involving only property damage charges together in North Port.