According to Florida Statute 316.062, all motorists have a duty to give information and render aid if they are involved in a crash that results in injury or death to another person or damage to another vehicle.
This means that if you get in an accident where any type of property damage occurs or a person is hurt, you are legally obligated to stop and exchange information with any other parties involved. You must also give "reasonable aid" to anyone that is injured in the accident and wait to make sure that emergency crews arrive on the scene.
If the vehicle you struck is unoccupied, you must still leave a note with your information in a place where the owner can find it. This information should include your name, address, registration, and proof of driver's license.
If you fail to do any of these things in the aftermath of an accident and leave the scene, you could be issued a traffic citation if only minor property damage was involved. If the accident caused another party to sustain bodily injury or resulted in serious property damage, you could face criminal charges for hit & run.
What are the penalties for fleeing the scene?
If property damage is involved in an accident and you flee the scene, you could face a 2 nd degree misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by a maximum term of 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.
If you fled the scene of an accident that involved serious injuries to another person, your hit & run offense could be charged as a 2 rd degree felony, punishable by a maximum term of 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Additionally, your driver's license will be revoked and you could be forced to pay restitution to the other motorist.
If the accident caused the death of another person, the hit & run offense could be charged as a 1 st degree felony, punishable by a term of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Hit & run is a serious offense in the state of Florida and it is important that you retain the counsel of a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Timothy Hessinger has over 20 years of legal experience and can provide the dedicated and resourceful defense representation you need if you've been arrested in the Tampa Bay area.
Contact The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger to learn how our team can protect your rights and fight your hit & run charges. Call today to request your free initial consultation!