Where Can A Victim Find The Necessary Evidence To Prove The Case
A hit and run can be proven through:
- Witness testimony
- Circumstantial evidence
- Tangible evidence
For example, a witness may testify to what a driver looked like before they fled the scene. They can give insight into the type of vehicle to help the police investigate. Nearby surveillance videos may help convict the driver. Damage to vehicles and admissions by the defendant can also be critical to proving the case.
What you need to prove varies depending on what the contested issues are. However, the state must prove every element of the offense. The exact proofs required depend on whether the case involves property damage, injury, or death.
Duty To Remain At Scene And Exchange Information
As a preliminary manner, under Section 316.062, if you are involved in a vehicle accident or crash that results in damage to another vehicle or other property, or if any person is injured, you have certain legal obligations to provide information and render aid.
The failure to comply with this duty to provide information or render aid is a noncriminal or civil traffic infraction.
You should always remain at the scene after a crash until these requirements have been met. Leaving the scene can lead to serious criminal charges.
If you already left the scene then a criminal investigation has begun and you should talk with an attorney who can represent you. The duty to provide identifying information includes the following:
- your name and address
- the registration number of the vehicle that you were driving
- upon request from any other person involved, or any law enforcement officer investigating the accident, you must show your drivers license or permit to drive
- if any person entitled to this information is unavailable after the accident, you are required to report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency or a police station.
Furthermore, under Florida law, the judge may instruct the jury that the State proves the fourth element if the driver failed to give ANY PART of the identifying information.
Definition Of Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
Under Florida Statute 316.061, the crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident is committed when a person:
If the owner of the property is not present to receive your information or cannot be readily located, you are required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency and provide your name, address, registration information, and drivers license.
Also Check: Pre Existing Back Injury Aggravated
Penalties For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary depending upon the specific facts of the case.
For example, the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident with no injuries and only minor property damage occurred are much less severe than the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident in which someone sustained life-threatening or fatal injuries.
The following are the different categories of crimes for which a driver can face charges for leaving the scene of a crash:
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving property or motor vehicle damage
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, defined as an injury that is life-threatening and/or results in permanent disfigurement or disability and
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
The following are the penalties for each of the offenses listed above
How To Prove Your Case
The evidence needed to convict a Florida hit and run is:
If other parties are too injured to receive the drivers personal information, the driver must report the crash to law enforcement and give them the details.
The state attorney must prove all the elements to convict a defendant in Florida. The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Recommended Reading: Personal Injury Attorney Kansas City Mo
Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Involving Property Damage
The crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage is a Second Degree Misdemeanor.
If convicted of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Sixty days in jail.
- Six months of probation.
- A fine up to $500.
Florida Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
In Florida, it is a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by 60 days jail and a $500 fine to leave the scene of an accident with property damage. Florida link to the statute, .
Requirements Under the Law
In order to comply with the statute, once involved in an accident involving damage, you must take the following actions:
If you leave the scene of a crash that involves and injury, you could be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by 5 years prison and/or a $5000 fine. To read the statute, .
There are defenses to these charges. Often times, people charges with this crime were unaware that there was any contact with another vehicle or that there was any damage. Sometimes people who are charged with this crime did go back to the scene but can not find the other vehicle involved. As with most crimes, knowledge is an element of the crime the state must prove. We have been successful having these case reduced to a non-criminal non-moving civil infraction of failure to leave information pursuant to 316.062.
If you or a loved one has been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage or Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injuries, call The Adams Law Firm for a free Consultation.
Don’t Miss: Common Injuries From Falling Down Stairs
What If You Leave The Scene Of An Accident In Florida
- Highest rating: 5
- Lowest rating: 3
- Descriptions: If you leave the scene of an accident where another party was injured, you can be charged with a felony and risk revocation of your license for 3-5 years. If
- More : If you leave the scene of an accident where another party was injured, you can be charged with a felony and risk revocation of your license for 3-5 years. If
Leaving Accident Scene Defenses
If the driver sustains injuries which inhibit the drivers ability to provide assistance or information, the driver may be excluded from the obligation to stay at the scene. To prove that injury or incapacitation was the reason for leaving the scene of the accident, the driver may have to provide proof that medical assistance was sought following the accident. A driver may also be excluded from the duty to stay at the scene if the driver fears death or injury. This may apply if fire or toxic materials threaten the well being of the driver.
Don’t Miss: What Knee Injury Do I Have
Contact Musca Law Now And Protect Your Life And Liberty
Facing criminal charges in Florida can be frightening. The charges can be overwhelming, but it is important to understand that you do not have to face these accusations alone. The experienced Florida criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law are ready to stand up for you and your rights. We will work with you to develop the best defense strategy for your case. We offer a free and completely confidential consultation to our clients. Contact us today at 484-5057 to speak with one of our attorneys and to learn how we can help.
Get your case started by calling us at today!
Administrative Penalties For Leaving The Scene Of A Car Accident
In addition to the criminal penalties for hit and run, almost every state imposes administrative penalties related to your driver’s license. These penalties are often imposed through the individual state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Any conviction for hit and run, regardless of whether it’s for a felony or misdemeanor, typically results in an automatic suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for a period of six months or so. In some states the revocation can be as long as three years. Depending on the state in which you live, and the nature and circumstances of the car accident in which you were involved, the penalty for hit and run may include a lifetime revocation of your driver’s license. These administrative penalties are in addition to any criminal punishment that might be imposed for hit and run.
Read Also: West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
Leaving The Scene Defense Lawyer
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious criminal traffic offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. There are three types of leaving the scene of an accident charges in Florida: damage to an unattended property, accidents involving occupied vehicles and accidents involving personal injury or death. We have experience defending all types of leaving the scene cases. I examine each case to determine if it can be dismissed and ultimately removed from your record. Once hired, I will:
Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Is A Serious Offense
In Florida, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime. That being said, there are reasons for which a driver may have no choice.
Charges dont always lead to convictions. But, if youve been charged with fleeing the scene, its in your best interest to contact a professional who can help your case.
Want to know how to hire the right attorney? Heres everything you should look for in the right lawyer.
You May Like: Compensation For Back Injury In Car Accident
What Are The Legal Consequences For Hit And Run In Florida
Those who leave the scene of an accident involving only property damage can face:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- 6 months of probation
When an injury is involved, defendants face a third degree felony with a maximum of:
- 5 years in prison
- 5 years of probation
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
If a driver leaves the scene of an accident that resulted in the death of another person, conviction may result in anywhere from:
- 21 months to up to 15 years in prison
- 15 years of probation
- Fines up to $10,000.
Lack Of Knowledge That A Crash Occurred
This defence states that you did not know you had been in a car accident. For example, you may have not felt the impact against your vehicle and may not have seen the damage until you got out of your vehicle at your destination. As long as you contact the authorities the moment you discover the damage, this defence may get your charges dismissed.
Leaving The Scene Of An Accident In Florida The Law Place
- Highest rating: 4
- Lowest rating: 3
- Descriptions: If you leave the scene of an accident where another person suffered injuries, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. Your penalties, if convicted,
- More : If you leave the scene of an accident where another person suffered injuries, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. Your penalties, if convicted,
Legal Obligations For Auto Accidents
But thats not all the legal obligations and statuary duties that a person involved in a car accident has to perform to stay on the right side of the law. Leaving your information to the victim of the accident is usually the last step. Before that, you have to take certain measures that show clearly both to the victim and the onlookers that you have every intention of facing the consequences of your actions.
This involves bringing your vehicle to a stop at the scene of the accident or the nearest possible area. Then show your personal information, including your drivers license to the owner of the damaged car or property. If the police are involved, youll need to cooperate with the law enforcement officers by providing the same information. If nobody is around, you will have to attach your personal information securely to a place that is easy to find.
In cases where serious injuries or fatalities are involved, youll need to take more steps in addition to the above ones. If the injured person requires medical assistance, you need to help that person get to a hospital. This involves calling an ambulance. If the victim is either unconscious or otherwise cannot receive your information, then its your duty to call the police and report the accident. Youll also have to stay by the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
Recommended Reading: Statute Of Limitations Personal Injury Georgia
Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Involving Bodily Injury Or Death
For accidents that involve bodily injury or death, the statutory obligations are a bit different. You must:
- Stop the vehicle at the crash or as close to the site of the crash as possible.
- Notify the owner/operator of the drivers name, address, and vehicle registration number.
- Show drivers license if requested.
- Provide information to reporting police offers.
- If medical treatment is needed, or if the other person requests medical treatment, you must render reasonable assistance to make arrangements for the person to get to a physician, hospital, or surgeon for medical treatment. In other words, its your duty to call an ambulance if the other person is hurt.
- If the other driver cannot receive the above information, the non-injured person must report this crash to local law enforcement.
Florida Dui Penalties: Leaving The Scene Of A Car Accident With Injuries
In Florida, there are serious penalties in place for those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugsand even harsher penalties exist for those who leave the scene of an accident in which someone else was hurt or killed. Depending on the nature of a victims injuries, those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cause accidents may spend decades in prison.
Don’t Miss: Blurred Vision After Head Injury
Hit & Run Defense Lawyer In St Petersburg
A person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident is required to provide certain identifying information to the driver or occupant of the other vehicle or owner or attendant of any other damaged property. This information includes the driver’s name, address, and vehicle identification number. When requested, the driver must display his or her driver’s license or permit. The driver also has a duty to provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the crash. This includes transporting the injured person to a hospital, or making arrangements for such transportation, upon request. A violation of the duty to provide information or render aid constitutes a non-criminal traffic infraction. Where property damage results, a violation of these duties constitutes a second degree misdemeanor. In cases involving bodily injury, the violation is a third degree felony and, where death results, the violation is a first degree felony.
This section includes an overview of the applicable statutes, the standard jury instruction , authoritative cases that highlight the legal nuances of these types of offenses, and a list of resources to help provide additional information.
Importance Of An Attorney
In all leaving the scene cases, the hiring of an attorney is a critically important step to minimize or avoid potential penalties. In the investigative stages of a case, an attorney can make contact with police, prevent a client from making damaging statements, and present the facts of an incident in the most favorable light possible.
If you have been accused of Leaving the Scene of an Accident, contact Hussein & Webber, PL for a free consultation. Our attorneys handle cases in Jacksonville, Orlando, and the surrounding counties of northeast and central Florida.
Also Check: New York Personal Injury Lawyers
The 2022 Florida Statutes Online Sunshine
- Highest rating: 4
- Lowest rating: 1
- Descriptions: 316.027 Crash involving death or personal injuries. other than serious bodily injury shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash,
- More : 316.027 Crash involving death or personal injuries. other than serious bodily injury shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash,
The Defendant Stopped As Close As Possible To The Site Of The Accident
This defence states that, although you did not stop at the scene of the accident, you did stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible. This is particularly relevant when the accident takes place on a hill or slope and your vehicles brakes have been damaged, forcing you to stop at the bottom of the slope.
Recommended Reading: Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable In California
Accidents Causing Serious Bodily Injury In Florida
However, if the accident causes serious bodily injury, Florida § 316.027 requires that the driver immediately stop and wait at the scene of the accident until the obligations of § 316.062 have been met. Those who intentionally fail to meet these obligations or who leave the scene of such an accident may be guilty of a second-degree felony.
Serious bodily injury is defined in Florida § 316.027. These are injuries, including those to a driver, that lead to a significant risk of loss or impairment of a body part or organ, serious disfigurement, or a significant risk of death. For example, loss of limb or serious burns may qualify as serious bodily injuries.