Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious legal matter. This offense, also called a "hit and run" can result in very stiff penalties if you are convicted. An individual is required by Florida law to stay at the scene of an accident if they have somehow been involved—whether or not they have caused the accident and/or are at fault. If you have left the scene of an accident and are later arrested and charged, you may spend time in jail or prison and be forced to pay expensive fines, as well. If the accident only caused property damage, the penalties will likely be less than if injuries were sustained in the accident.
Understanding Hit and Run Law
It is a legal requirement that if you are involved in a vehicle accident, that you stop and exchange contact information, insurance information and get medical assistance for any injured individuals. If you fail to do so, you will be sought out by law enforcement, and when caught, charges of leaving the scene of an accident will most likely be the result. This is a very serious legal problem, and it is critical that you contact a lawyer if you are facing this situation.
Leaving the scene is a very serious charge and has several levels of penalties, based on the accident and the outcome. Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage only is usually charged as a second degree misdemeanor and part of the penalty is often up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If there was an injury in the accident, and you are charged with leaving the scene, the charge becomes much more serious. You will now be facing a third degree felony charges and the penalty includes up to 5 years in prison, as well as up to $5,000 in fines. If the accident caused a fatality, the crime charged will likely be a first degree felony, which, if convicted has a punishment of up to 30 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.