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Orlando Leaving the Scene of an Accident Attorney

Accidents happen on Florida's roadways and Interstates in the blink of an eye. While you never expect to be involved in an accident, it happens to thousands of people across our country every day. At Adams & Luka, we realize how easy it is to panic and leave the scene of an accident before you even consider the consequences. Unfortunately, the penalties for a "hit and run" offense as it is commonly called are harsh. Leaving the scene of an accident may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony; a conviction will result in penalties which could affect your freedom, reputation, career, and other aspects of your life. We urge you to consult with our Orlando leaving the scene of an accident lawyers immediately if you have been arrested or are under investigation.

Florida Statute §315.027 states that a motorist who is involved in an accident either on private or public property which results in another person being injured must top immediately at or near the accident scene. At this point, the requirements set forth by Florida Statute §316.062 must be met, which include providing your name, physical address, driver's license number, and other pertinent information to the investigating officer. Additionally, when someone suffers injury in a hit and run accident, the other driver is required to give what would be considered reasonable assistance. For instance, you may transport the injured person to the hospital for medical treatment if he/she requests it, or make arrangements for transport.

Leaving the scene of an accident occurs when the following conditions are met, according to Florida Statute §316.061:

  • The defendant is involved in an accident with a car, structure, building, or other object that is someone else's property; and
  • willfully (intentionally, knowingly) leaves the scene of the crash or accident without providing the property owner with his/her identifying information such as name, address, or vehicle registration information.

In the event the property owner is not present, reporting the accident and your pertinent information to a local law enforcement agency is required.

In Florida, there are basically three types of hit and run accident charges. An accident may involve vehicles or property that are occupied or attended, damage to vehicles/property that are unattended, or accidents that result in personal injury or death.

Defenses to Charges of Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Florida

In any criminal case, there are pretrial and trial defenses that may be raised. In addition to these defense tactics, other common defense strategies include:

Physically unable to report. If an accident or crash left you injured to the extent you could not report the accident, you are exempt from being required to leave driver's license, registration information, and identifying information with the property owner.

Lack of knowledge. It is possible to be involved in an accident and not realize it. For instance, you may have slightly tapped another vehicle and not felt the impact. Your Orlando defense lawyer can argue in this situation that you were not aware you struck another vehicle.

In addition, in the case of leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death, it must be proven that you knew about the injury or death. If prosecutors cannot prove actual or constructive knowledge, you cannot be found guilty of this offense and may instead be convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run offense.

Criminal Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Orlando & Central Florida

The penalties an individual may face if convicted of leaving the scene of an accident depend on the level of severity and whether others were injured or even died as a result of the accident. Penalties include:

Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. This is a second-degree misdemeanor offense which will leave the defendant facing a maximum of 60 days in jail, fines of up to $500, and six months of probation.

Leaving the scene of an accident with injury. A third-degree felony, a conviction for this level 5 offense will result in punishment that includes a maximum of five (5) years in prison, up to five (5) years probation, and fines of up to $5,000.

Leaving the scene of an accident involving death. A first-degree felony, if convicted for this level 7 offense the defendant will face punishment which includes a maximum of 30 years in prison, up to 30 years probation, and fines of up to $10,000.

Contact Adams & Luka Immediately

As you can see, "hit and run" accidents are extremely serious, and are prosecuted vigorously in the state of Florida. If you have been arrested, charged, or are under investigation, it is vital that you consult with our Orlando traffic defense attorneys immediately so that work can begin to develop a solid defense. We are on your side, and ready to provide the exceptional legal guidance and support you need during an extremely stressful and frightening time in your life. Call us now for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.

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