If you leave the scene of a serious accident and are caught, you may be charged with a hit-and-run. A hit-and-run is regarded as a serious crime in Punta Gorda and all throughout Florida and is often met with severe penalties. This is particularly the case when someone has sustained serious injuries or has died as a result of the crash.
When an accident happens, it is understandable that an individual can panic and leave the scene immediately without thinking of the consequences. It is common in many hit-and-run cases that the accused lacked intent and merely fled the accident through stress and fright. However, Florida law requires that if you have been involved in an accident that has caused any damage, whether to property or personal injury, you must stay at the scene to exchange information with the other parties.
If you have been caught leaving the scene of an accident that has involved death in Punta Gorda, Florida, it is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney. Charges of this nature have the potential for a felony conviction which carries with it harsh penalties. Here at The Law Place, we are experienced in managing cases like yours, having over 75 years of combined experience in multiple practice areas. Our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers will do everything in their power to get the best possible outcome for your case. We offer a free consultation by phone where you can get honest legal advice from one of our experienced lawyers. The sooner you seek legal assistance, the better your outcome may be.
Contact our law firm today at (941) 444-4444 for your free consultation. Our phone lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Florida Law on Leaving the Scene Involving Death
As provided for under Florida Statute 316.062, all individuals have a duty to stay at the scene of a crash that has caused property damage, personal injury, or death in order to exchange information with the other parties and to seek help where necessary. As stated under Florida Statute 316.027, failure to do so can result in a felony conviction, which can have severe penalties.
Florida Statute 316.027 also states that as a driver who is involved in an accident on the road, you have a number of statutory duties. These duties include:
- A requirement to stop your vehicle as soon as you can and as near to the accident scene as is considered safe.
- A duty to produce all necessary information at the scene, including your driver’s license, full name, address, contact details, and information related to your vehicle.
- If a person sustained personal injury in the accident, you are required to provide “reasonable assistance,” which can include carrying the victim or making arrangements for them to be carried to the hospital.
- A duty to report the accident to a police officer or a member of law enforcement.
If there is no law enforcement at the scene and the other party is seriously injured and can’t take your information, you are required to report it to your local Punta Gorda police station.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident in Punta Gorda, Florida
Leaving the scene of a car accident that has resulted in death is considered a serious crime and will typically be charged as a first-degree felony. If you are charged with a felony of the first degree in Florida, you can face severe penalties which can impact the rest of your life. Upon conviction, you could be looking at up to 30 years imprisonment, probation of up to 30 years, and fines of up to $10,000. In addition to this, your driver’s license may be revoked for at least 3 years. If you try to obtain a hardship license, you will have to complete an Advanced Driver Improvement Course (ADI).
The penalties for leaving the scene of a car accident that has resulted in death in Florida are severe and will be extremely difficult to fight on your own. This is why having the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital. Here at The Law Place, we are experienced in dealing with cases like this, and we can provide you with the assistance you need to fight these charges in Punta Gorda. A knowledgeable lawyer from our law firm can build a strong criminal defense on your behalf to try and get you the best possible outcome. We don’t want the rest of your life to be impacted by felony charges, and this is why we are here to give you the assistance you need.
Possible Defenses for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Punta Gorda
In order to reduce any charges brought against you or to abolish them completely, it is necessary that you have a strong criminal defense to present to a court. A lawyer who has experience in fighting these cases can build a criminal defense on your behalf. Some examples of the defenses they may use could include:
- The accused driver has been wrongly identified.
- The driver was not aware that the accident happened.
- The driver did not stop as they didn’t realize how serious the accident was and that anyone had suffered personal injury or had died as a result.
- The accused had suffered injuries from the accident, and they were unable to provide assistance or report the injury as a result.
- The driver did not drive away willingly, but they had no other choice.
- The other individual involved in the accident refused to take the driver’s information.
- The assistance given by the accused driver is considered reasonable under Florida law.
- The driver stopped as close to the accident as was considered safe with the surrounding traffic.
- The victim’s death did not result from a driver leaving the scene but instead from a delay in the arrival of medical services.
- The victim or other driver told you to leave in order to seek assistance.
Depending on the particular facts of your case, an experienced attorney will be able to build a strong defense on your behalf. Even if you think the above defenses could not be used for your particular case, it is worth calling us at The Law Place to see what your options are. We offer a free consultation for you to receive honest legal advice from an attorney who is skilled in defending criminal cases such as yours.
What a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Do for You
Here at The Law Place, we know that facing first-degree felony charges following a crash can be terrifying and stressful. The Florida legal system is complex and confusing, and the prosecution will typically have skilled lawyers who want to secure a conviction against you. Here at The Law Place, we don’t want you to battle these criminal charges on your own. Our criminal defense attorneys can provide you with the legal assistance and guidance you need to prevent you from receiving harsh penalties.
A lawyer from our firm will take over your case completely and investigate the situation on your behalf. They will contact any witnesses and first responders to the scene, investigate police reports of the incident and call in experts to examine what actually happened. Once the case goes to a Florida court, they will do everything in their power to receive the best possible outcome for you. This can include having negotiations with the prosecution, trying to arrange a plea deal, or fighting in court for a dismissal of your case.
Our firm always puts the client first, and we are serious when it comes to fighting for justice. We don’t want felony charges resulting from a crash to impact the rest of your life. Phone us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers to see what options are available for you.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you or someone you know has been charged with leaving the scene of a vehicle accident in Florida that resulted in death, you should contact us at The Law Place today. We know how difficult this whole process is, and we want to relieve any stress you are feeling. Our lawyers have built a great attorney-client relationship as we always put the needs of the client first. Our priority is ensuring that the rest of your life is not affected by a potential felony conviction.
Once you contact us for your free consultation, our criminal defense lawyers will give you honest legal advice on how to best handle your situation. If you decide to proceed with us as your legal representative, we will fight tooth and nail to get your charges reduced or dropped completely. Charges of this nature are considered very serious in Florida, and the sooner you seek assistance from an experienced lawyer, the better your chances are.
Call us today at (941) 444-4444 for your free consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Our phone lines are open 24/7 for your convenience.