Florida Statute § 316.062 requires drivers who are involved in an accident to stop, provide their information, and render aid to injured people. Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida before you have met those requirements can mean harsh penalties.
Florida grades the crime depending upon the type and severity of the damage involved in the crash. If you are facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident, contact a lawyer from Goldman Wetzel immediately at 727-828-3900. The sooner we begin working on your case, the sooner we can address the charges and start working on your defense.
How does Florida categorize hit and run offenses?
The specific crime that prosecutors will charge you with depends on the nature of the damage that occurred.
Damage to Property
Florida Statute § 316.061(1) provides that if you were involved in an accident involving only damage to a vehicle or other property (but not to people), and leave the scene of the accident, you will face second-degree misdemeanor charges.
If a judge convicts you of a misdemeanor after leaving the scene, your sentence can include up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, amongst other penalties.
Note: We can often get these charges reduced to a civil infraction if we act early enough.
In Florida Statute § 316.027(2)(a), the statutes provide that if you fled the scene of a crash in which someone sustained injury, the state will charge you with a third-degree felony.
Those convicted face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, as well as a mandatory three-year driver’s license revocation.
Serious bodily injury
If someone sustained “serious bodily injury,” which the state defines as one “that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ,” the offense is a second-degree felony. [Fla. Stat. § 316.027(2)(b)]
Those convicted face up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, as well as a mandatory three-year driver’s license revocation.
Lastly, if someone died in the accident and you failed to stop and render aid, the crime is a first-degree felony. [Fla. Stat. §316.027(2)(c)]
Those convicted face up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, including a mandatory minimum sentence of four years. The three-year mandatory driver’s license revocation also applies.
Does Goldman Wetzel take hit-and-run cases?
Goldman Wetzel has successfully defended against a wide range of traffic-related offenses, including misdemeanor and felony charges for leaving the scene of an accident. We can often get the charges reduced and the penalties mitigated when defendants contact us early on in the case.
Contact our office at 727-828-3900 and speak to one of our attorneys so we can review your case and get started on your defense.