Hit and run/Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a criminal act that occurs when a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, causes property damage or physical damage to a third party, and then leaves the scene. According to Florida law, when a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, he/she should report the accident to law enforcement and also exchange appropriate information with others who were involved in the collision. It is illegal for a person to cause a car accident and then flee a scene.
If a person leaves the scene of the accident, and does not report the accident, he/she can be charged with hit and run/leaving the scene of an accident. Hit and run/leaving het scene of an accident can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Usually, classification will depend upon the person’s criminal history, the extent of property damage caused by the accident (if any), the extent of physical injuries caused by the accident (if any), and if the person was under the influence of drugs and or alcohol at the time of the accident. When DUI is involved, additional penalties will likely be assessed.
Once a person has been charged with hit & run/leaving the scene of an accident, whether it is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, it is usually a wise idea for the person to review his/her legal options with a criminal defense attorney. Without the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, people stand to face numerous life-altering legal penalties if convicted.
Hit & Run/Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Conviction & Penalties
A person who has been convicted of hit & run/leaving the scene of an accident will face a variety of severe legal ramifications. These legal penalties may include, but are not limited to:
- court costs;
- community service;
- driver’s license suspension;
- drug and alcohol counseling (if applicable); and
- civil action.
How an Attorney Can Help
When a driver is charged with or arrested for hit & run/leaving the scene of an accident, it is imperative that they consult a criminal defense attorney immediately. A criminal defense attorney can get involved from the onset of the legal process and provide insight and direction as the hit & run/leaving the scene of an accident case progresses. Additionally, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate with judges and prosecutors to possibly have the person’s criminal charges reduced, or in some cases, dismissed entirely.