After a car accident, state law imposes several requirements on the participants. Foremost among these is to remain on scene and call for help. Failing to meet the law’s requirements may result in criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident. The public commonly refers to these charges as a hit and run.
When someone you know or care about is under investigation stemming from a hit and run, speak with a criminal defense Attorney experienced in Delray Beach hit and run investigations immediately. Leifert & Leifert has the experience necessary to launch a full investigation of the accident and develop your defense. It is in your best interest not to face a hit and run investigation alone.
Remain on the Scene and Provide Aid
The requirement to remain on the scene and provide aid applies after an accident that damages a vehicle or property of another or injures another person. The duties will vary depending upon whether the owner of the other vehicle or property damaged is present. In these instances, drivers involved in accidents must take the following steps:
- Immediately stop.
- Provide reasonable assistance to the injured.
- Provide name and address.
- Provide insurance and registration.
- Provide driver’s license or ID.
Assisting the injured requires the other driver to call for assistance and help to arrange transportation for the injured person to receive medical care. This could include driving the person to the hospital or calling for an ambulance on their behalf. Failing to provide reasonable assistance to the injured person elevates the seriousness of the offense.
When the other car is empty, the driver must attempt to locate the owner and provide information. When the driver cannot find the owner, they must leave a note with their name, address, and registration and insurance information in a conspicuous location and contact the Police to report the accident. When a Delray Beach driver does not report a collision, the Police will begin a hit and run investigation.
Potential Penalties in a Hit and Run Investigation
Hit and runs are serious offenses. Failing to follow the legal requirements to remain on the scene and provide aid exposes the driver to criminal charges. A person facing charges for failing to stay at the scene after an accident and report it could face charges, ranging from a Misdemeanor and a fine to Felony charges.
The seriousness of the potential charges depends on the nature of the property damage and injuries. For example, one of the most severe possible charges from a hit and run involves leaving a scene of an accident that results in death. This is a first-degree Felony. The punishment under state law for this charge is a maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. In addition there are mandatory minimum prison terms and Driver’s License suspension for this charge if you are found or plead guilty.
Even the least severe charges carry heavy penalties, such as a second-degree Misdemeanor with a punishment of up to six months’ probation, 60 days in Jail, and a $500 fine.
Drivers must understand state laws concerning hit-and-runs. Failing to remain on the scene subjects the person to severe consequences. If the Police in Delray Beach are conducting a hit and run investigation, a person should contact an Attorney to protect their rights.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Delray Beach Hit and Run Investigations
When you or another you care for is the subject of a Delray Beach hit-and-run investigation, contact a criminal defense Attorney. You need an experienced team protecting your rights. Call us today for an initial consultation about your case.