Hit-and-Run When a Death is Involved in Florida
Leaving the scene of an accident (commonly known as Hit-and-Run) when another person has died as a result of that accident is an extremely serious offense. According to USA today, the Florida State Highway Patrol reported that three out of every five road fatalities involved a pedestrian struck by a hit and run driver.
While this is a very dismaying statistic, there are two sides to every story, and people sometimes make bad decisions in the heat of the moment, especially when panic overtakes them. The “fight or flight” response can sometimes kick in as a result of the acute stress experienced following an accident. Later, the driver realizes he or she overreacted, aggravating the situation by driving away.
If you find yourself facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident when a fatality is involved, you need an experienced, knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney by your side as soon as possible. The Law Place’s criminal defense attorneys have helped clients who have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident (Hit-and-Run), and will work hard on your behalf to minimize the long-term consequences of these very serious charges. We fully understand that you are not a bad person, you simply made a bad choice. We further believe you deserve a comprehensive investigation of your accident, and a zealous defense.
Penalties Associated with Hit-and-Run When a Death is Involved
You could be charged with a first-degree felony. Florida Statute 316.027 details the penalties associated with hit-and-run when a death has occurred. These penalties include:
- You will face a minimum sentence of four years in prison;
- You could be sentenced to as many as thirty years in prison;
- You could be sentenced to up to thirty years of probation, and
- You could face fines as large as $10,000.
For a free legal consultation with a hit-and-run accidents lawyer serving Florida, call 941-444-4444
Potential Defenses to Florida Charges of Leaving the Scene of an Accident When a Death is Involved
While your defense will be tailored to the specific circumstances of your accident, your attorney may choose to use one or more of the following common defenses:
- You were unaware your actions resulted in an accident, particularly an accident in which a person lost his or her life;
- You were seriously injured during the accident, therefore unable to call the police;
- There is a question as to whether you were actually driving when the accident occurred, or
- You stopped as close as you possibly could to the scene of the accident.
Even if none of the above defenses fit your offense, this does not mean you will automatically be convicted of the crime of Hit-and-Run when a Death is Involved. Your criminal attorney may be able to contact the prosecutor early on in the case, negotiating a more lenient resolution to your case, perhaps even avoiding jail on your behalf entirely. The Law Place’s criminal defense attorneys believe they can help you during this difficult time in your life. We have the knowledge of Florida laws pertaining to your charges and extensive experience dealing with this type of case. Contact The Law Place today by calling 941-444-4444.