If you were caught leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run, then you will most likely face serious penalties in Venice. It is a serious crime to hit someone else or their property and think that you can get away with it.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) statistics report stated that there were almost 15,560 cases of hit and run accidents in the year 2013. If you wish to protect your future, then get in touch with a Venice car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of collective experience in defending the legal rights of drivers who have been involved in a leaving the scene of an accident case in Venice and all over the State of Florida. Our law firm understands the consequences of a hit and run accident, and we will make sure that you have not been wrongfully charged in Venice.
Pick up your phone and call our office today to set up a free consultation, in which a car accident lawyer will help you to understand what to expect following your hit and run charge. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so that you can call us when you are ready.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight against your leaving the scene of an accident charge together in Venice.
What Does It Mean to Leave the Scene of an Accident in Venice, FL?
Florida Statute 316.061 and Florida Statute 316.063 define leaving the scene of an accident as a driver’s failure to fulfill their statutory duties by remaining at the scene of a car accident when there is property damage, personal injury, or, in the worst cases, death involved.
Statutory Duties Following an Accident in Venice, FL.
Every driver has to meet certain obligations before they are legally allowed to leave the scene of an accident under Florida law. The type of obligations that they will have to complete will depend on the severity of the crash.
For car accidents involving only property damage, a driver must:
- Stop – A driver must stop at the scene of the car accident or as close as they possibly can.
- Exchange information – A driver must exchange their identifying information with the owner of the vehicle or property. This includes name, phone number, address, and vehicle registration number.
- Driver’s license – A driver must share their driver’s license with the other driver upon request.
- Police officers – A driver must provide their name, phone number, address, driver’s license, and vehicle registration number to the police officers at the scene of the crash.
- Absent owner – A driver must find the owner of the damaged vehicle or property and notify them of the crash if they were absent at the time. However, if they cannot be found, then the driver must write a note leaving their identifying information and attach it in a safe place. Once this is complete, the driver must also notify the police department of the car accident.
For car accidents involving personal injury, serious bodily injury, or death, a driver must do the same as above, except that they must also:
- Offer reasonable assistance – A driver must offer reasonable assistance if the other person suffered injuries in the crash. This might include calling an ambulance or making an arrangement for them to be transported to the hospital for medical treatment.
- Notify police department – A driver must notify the police department of the car accident if the injured driver is not in a position to receive their identifying information.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Penalties in Venice, FL.
The type of punishments that you will receive for leaving the scene of an accident will depend on whether your car accident involved only property damage or whether there was personal injury, serious bodily injury, or death involved.
- Leaving the scene of a car accident involving property damage – A second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by spending up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and having to pay a $500 fine.
- Leaving the scene of a car accident involving personal injury – A third-degree felony, which is punishable by spending up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and having to pay a $5,000 fine.
- Leaving the scene of a car accident involving serious bodily injury – A second-degree felony, which is punishable by spending up to 15 years in prison and having to pay a $5,000 fine.
- Leaving the scene of a car accident involving death – A first-degree felony, which is punishable by spending up to 30 years in prison (with a minimum of 4 years in prison), the loss of your driver’s license for up to 3 years, and having to pay a $10,000 fine.
Proving the Crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Venice, FL.
The prosecutor must prove four factors to convict you of a hit-and-run charge in Venice. These are:
- You were the one driving the vehicle that caused the crash and resulted in property damage, personal injury, or wrongful death of another person.
- You knew or should have been aware that you caused an accident.
- You wilfully chose to leave the scene of the crash without giving your identifying information to the other driver or a police officer.
- You did not offer reasonable assistance to the injured person involved in the car accident.
Defenses to Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Venice, FL.
The Law Place has a number of different defense strategies that we can use to tackle your charges of leaving the scene of an accident in Venice. Our team of car accident lawyers will explore every possible option in order to reduce the charges and minimize the severity of the consequences for your case.
Here are some of the most common types of defense strategies that we can use to battle your charges:
- Disputes around the identity of the driver who caused the auto accident.
- A lack of knowledge that an auto accident happened.
- A lack of knowledge that there was a collision with another person’s vehicle or property.
- The driver’s failure to stop was not wilful, their actions were dictated by an emergency situation.
- The driver tried to stop as close as they could to the location of the auto accident.
- The other driver was unwilling to receive the identifying information from the driver at the time.
- The other driver grew angry and demanded that the driver leave the scene of the accident to bring the police.
- The driver offered reasonable assistance to the injured person at the scene of the accident.
Not all leaving the scene of an accident charges will result in a conviction. Our team of car accident lawyers will attempt to make early contact with the prosecutor to try and negotiate a lesser charge or agree on a more lenient solution to your hit-and-run case. This solution will potentially help you avoid you going to prison, getting probation, and receiving a criminal record.
Contact The Law Place Today in Venice, FL.
If you are facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident in Venice, then you will need to seek legal counsel from a law firm that has experience in successfully managing hit and run cases.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience and knowledge in helping clients who are facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident in Venice and throughout the State of Florida. Our law firm has managed hundreds of hit-and-run cases like yours, and we will provide a relentless defense for your case.
If you put your trust in us, our team of car accident lawyers will investigate your case, gather facts, speak to eyewitnesses, deal with the paperwork, negotiate with the prosecutor and build a strong defense strategy to combat your charges. Our law firm will work day and night to make sure that you have not been wrongfully charged for your Venice car accident.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight against your leaving the scene of accident charges together in Venice.