No one expects to suffer a motor vehicle accident when they travel in Orlando. Unfortunately, these accidents are common and result in many people suffering from severe injuries. After suffering a crash, it is normal for a person to be in a state of shock. This shock can impact a person’s immediate decision-making, causing them to leave the scene of an accident. However, leaving the scene of an accident in Orlando is a criminal offense that can be punished severely.
If you are ever involved in a traffic accident, it would be wise to pull your vehicle to a stop at the side of the road. You should exchange details with the other drivers involved and wait for a law enforcement officer to show up. Leaving the scene of an accident before providing contact information can result in a criminal investigation taking place.
At The Law Place, we understand that accidents happen. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. If you are facing criminal charges for leaving a traffic accident scene, you need to contact a reputable criminal defense law firm today. You should not make an official statement to a police officer before you have a chance to talk with an experienced lawyer. The sooner you contact our firm after your arrest, the better. To organize your free consultation with a member of our team, call us now at (941)-444-4444.
You’re Legally Required to Report a Traffic Accident
In Orlando, you are legally required to remain at the scene of an accident involving death and serious bodily injury. This is clearly outlined under Florida Statute 316.027. If you are caught leaving the scene of an accident, you can be charged with a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in jail. This is a serious criminal offense that is punished severely.
Not only this but Florida Statute 316.065 states how you are legally required to report a traffic accident to a law enforcement officer. This must be done immediately if the accident involved injury, death, or at least $500 worth of estimated property damage. Minor accidents don’t need to be reported immediately but do need to be reported within the first ten days following the incident.
Failing to report a car accident can mean that you will face criminal prosecution and a hefty fine in Orlando. Furthermore, failure to report a traffic accident can reflect badly on you in court. This is because a judge will likely assume that you are guilty because you failed to report the accident. After all, they will believe that you wished to conceal something. For example, a judge ruling on your case may assume that you were drunk driving or possessed drugs at the time of the accident. Coming clean and reporting your accident is the best thing you can do.
Nevertheless, an experienced attorney at our firm can help you out if you have left the scene of an accident without reporting it. There is a range of defenses we can use. Our team has helped countless other clients in the same position as you.
What Is the Punishment for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Orlando?
If you leave the scene of an accident involving injury in Orlando, you could be charged with a third-degree felony punishable with up to five years in jail. Not only this but you will also face a fine of up to $5,000. The exact punishment that you will face will depend on the circumstances of your criminal case and the judge ruling on it.
These cases should never be taken lightly as they are serious criminal offenses. If you don’t seek suitable legal representation, you can expect to serve years behind bars. This could be devastating for both you and your loved ones. While you’re serving time in jail, you risk missing out on so many amazing moments with the people you love. This is why it is important to act fast and aggressively. Our team of Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place will fight for your freedom. Don’t let one moment of misjudgment ruin your life.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death
Leaving the scene of an accident involving death in Orlando is a far more serious offense than leaving an accident that simply involved injury. This is because this offense is charged as a first-degree felony. Offenders charged with the crime will have to serve a mandatory jail sentence of four years. However, a judge can sentence an offender to serve up to 30 years. Not only this but offenders will have to complete community service, probation, and more.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage
The law states that a person driving a vehicle involved in an accident that involves property damage must not leave the scene. This is regardless of whether public or private property damage occurred. Florida Statute 316.061 states that a person who leaves an accident involving property damage can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. All drivers have a legal obligation to immediately stop and offer their driver’s license number, address, name, and registration information to the other driver involved in their accidents. If you leave the accident scene, you could have to serve up to 60 days of jail time. Furthermore, you may be handed a fine of up to $50.
Although a second-degree misdemeanor charge is not as severe as a felony charge, it will still result in you receiving a permanent criminal record. A criminal record can have a huge impact on an offender’s life. This is because it can be difficult for convicted people to attend school, find employment, secure bank loans, travel internationally, and more. Our lawyers will do all they can to get your criminal charges dropped or reduced.
What to Do at the Scene of a Traffic Accident in Orlando
If you are ever unlucky enough to be involved in a traffic accident in Orlando, there are a few things you should do to protect your health and legal rights.
Contact the Police
First of all, you must remain and the scene and contact law enforcement. This is because you are legally required to do so if your accident involves death, injury, or significant property damage. Failing to do this can result in you facing additional criminal charges and penalties. Even if you are to blame for the accident, it is wise to remain at the scene. Although you may think fleeing may be the best thing to do, it will only result in harsher punishment. Regardless of your accident or who is blamed, our skilled criminal defense lawyers will build you a solid defense strategy.
Seek Medical Treatment
Your health is important. If you or someone else at the scene has been seriously injured, you must call for emergency medical responders. They can offer you some invaluable medical treatment. If your injuries are not severe, you should still visit the emergency room. Not all traffic accident injuries are visible. For example, it is common for people to suffer from internal bleeding and organ damage in motor vehicle accidents.
Exchange Contact Details
In addition, you are legally obligated to exchange contact information with the other drivers at the scene. This will be important insurance information when you decide to make a compensation claim. Furthermore, this information can be a huge help to your criminal defense lawyer in building your defense case.
It is also advisable to gather evidence at the accident scene. This can involve taking photos and videos, as well as gathering the contact information of potential witnesses. Witness statements can be important pieces of evidence in your defense case. The more evidence gathered, the better. Your lawyer may be able to use this evidence to prove your innocence. If this is not possible, they will do all they can to get your charges reduced.
What Is Considered Serious Bodily Injury in Orlando?
A serious bodily injury refers to an injury or condition that has permanent effects. Such as a spinal cord injury causing paralysis. These injuries may never heal or will require a lengthy recovery period. Furthermore, these injuries will usually involve a person suffering from extreme pain and damage to their body. The medical treatment for these injuries is typically lengthy and expensive.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious bodily injury in Orlando, it would be advisable to get in contact with an experienced attorney. This is because you will likely be facing great medical bills. You should not have to suffer financially because of an accident injury. Our team of attorneys will work with your insurance company to help you recover a settlement. If another party is responsible for your injury, your attorney will not hesitate to seek damages from them. It is not uncommon for cases involving serious bodily injury to enter the courtroom. If your case does reach court, there is no need to worry. Although the courtroom may feel nerve-wracking, you can feel assured knowing that you’ve got a highly experienced attorney backing your case. Your attorney will guide you through and explain the whole legal process to you.
Can You Sue for Serious Bodily Injury in Orlando?
Yes, you can sue for serious bodily injury in Orlando. Florida is a no-fault state which means that most accident victims will have to seek compensation from their insurance company after suffering an accident. However, in cases involving serious injuries, victims can file personal injury lawsuits. Serious injuries include:
- Permanent injuries.
- Serious personal disfigurement or scarring.
- Significant loss of bodily function.
If any of your injuries fall under this serious injury threshold, it is worth contacting our legal team at The Law Place. In a free consultation, one of our lawyers will be able to offer you some unbiased legal advice.
Can I Be Convicted After Witnessing an Accident and Leaving the Scene?
Witnessing a traffic accident can be a shocking experience. If you witness a crash and leave the scene immediately, do not panic. As a witness, you are not required to stay at the scene and speak with law enforcement officers. However, it is the morally right thing to do. This is especially the case on quiet roads where there is little surveillance footage or other witnesses. If one of the drivers involved in the crash leaves the scene, you may need to check on the other injured person involved. It may be necessary for you to call emergency services so that medical responders can arrive at the scene. Additionally, it may be very beneficial to the victim if you exchange your contact details with them. This is because you may be called upon to testify in court.
As a witness, you are not expected to dedicate your life to a case. However, having a few moments to spare could make a huge difference in a person’s life. For example, your actions at an accident scene could be life-saving.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident in Orlando?
You should hire a personal injury lawyer if you have suffered serious injuries in an Orlando car accident. This is because you will likely be entitled to compensation.
However, if you are facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident in Orlando, it would be advisable to hire a criminal defense lawyer. At The Law Place, our practice areas include both personal injury law and criminal law. Regardless of your criminal needs, our team can help you. For some specific legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation. We can answer your questions and help resolve your case.
Get in Touch With a Knowledgeable Lawyer at The Law Place Today!
If you are facing criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident in Orlando, you must contact one of our lawyers now. There is no time to lose. Being found guilty of this offense can result in you facing a hefty fine and serving time in jail. At The Law Place, we can offer you the legal services of a reputable and experienced lawyer. All of our lawyers are highly skilled and have worked on several cases similar to yours before. We understand how important it is to get these charges dropped or reduced.
To organize your free consultation with a member of our team, call us now at (941)-444-4444.