Florida Criminal Traffic Attorneys
Have you been arrested and charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Serious Bodily Injury?
Did you know that under Florida law that if you are in an accident you have a duty to remain at the scene and failure to do so can result in a criminal violation, also causing you to be charged with leaving the scene of an accident? To make matters worse, if the other party involved in the accident is alleged to be injured as a result of your actions, you will be arrested and charged with a 3rd degree felony.
What could the possible punishments be for Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Serious Bodily Injury?
A lot of this will be determined by the extent of the injury alleged by the other party. Meaning, that if the other person is suffering a minor injury as opposed to permanent disfigurement as a result of your actions the potential for a county jail sentence or further incarceration would be lessened as opposed to a situation where the other party is seriously injured. In any felony case under Florida law the State Attorney and the judge rely on a Florida sentencing scoresheet in determining what the appropriate penalty would be if you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. The prosecutor takes that felony statute, puts it into a computer database and then puts in the injuries on a severity scale and that kicks out a number. If that number is above 44 points, then you are looking at the potential (unless a downward departure is given) of Florida State prison for the mandatory number of months that the calculator determines. We have had situations within our office where someone is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injury but we were able to negotiate a misdemeanor charge with the stipulation that our client would pay restitution for any injuries or property damage that resulted from the accident. In previous cases, that has allowed our clients to be escape a felony conviction. Florida statute requires a law enforcement officer to make an arrest for any felony, so it’s not uncommon for an officer to arrest you and take you to jail if you are charged with leaving the scene involving injury. We can’t stress how critical it is to consult with The Law Place following an arrest for leaving the scene involving injury, regardless of the severity. In all circumstances, when we get retained on a case we immediately begin an investigation to determine whether there is any exculpatory evidence which could help us in defending you in your case. For example, things like witness statements, 911 calls, video surveillance, bar/restaurant receipts and pictures of the damage are all things that if obtained quickly won’t be destroyed or damaged in the process. This evidence could make the difference and potentially give us enough ammunition to deal with the State Attorney in hopes of mitigating your damages. If you have been charged with leaving the scene involving injury we encourage you to call our office day or night, as we would be happy to speak with you. It is critical that you do this immediately because once the evidence is gone, it’s gone.