No matter the circumstances, being involved in a motor vehicle accident is a traumatic and frightening experience. In some cases, your instincts may take over, and you may want or need to leave the scene to avoid what you fear will be unwanted and negative consequences. Although these situations are stressful, if you are facing criminal charges relating to a crash, you may wish to consult with a Loxahatchee hit and run Lawyer right away.
Everyone knows that a single moment of panic can result in making the wrong decision. However, in the case of a hit and run accident, that lapse in judgment can result in disaster. Regardless of your reasons for leaving the scene of an accident, you may find it highly advantageous to contact one of our experienced criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert for advice and guidance about your situation.
Hit and Run Accidents in Loxahatchee
Car crashes can result in property damage, such as damage to vehicles, bodily injury to drivers or passengers, or both. When motor vehicle crashes occur, drivers must stop exchange personal information and offer or render aid if needed. If they fail to do so, they put themselves at risk of Prosecution for a hit and run offense.
Hit and Run Accidents Resulting in Property Damage
Under Fla. Stat. § 316.061, drivers must do specific things after they are involved in a motor vehicle collision that causes any vehicle or property damage. Failure to take the required actions, such as stopping at or near the scene of the accident and contacting Law Enforcement is a crime.
Drivers also have a duty to provide the other driver with identifying information about themselves. If drivers are unable to locate or identify the owner of the damaged property or vehicle, they must leave a notice in writing to the property owners to identify themselves and provide contact information.
Hit and Run Accidents Resulting in Bodily Injuries
When an accident causes bodily injuries to others, drivers also have a duty under Fla. Stat. § 316.062 and Fla. Stat. § 316.027 to stop at or near the scene, provide information and contact Law Enforcement officers. However, the duty of drivers increases under these circumstances. In this situation, drivers also must provide “reasonable assistance” to injured parties. This duty may include calling emergency medical services or taking other similar actions to help those injured in the crash.
Potential Penalties following a Hit and Run Conviction
Leaving the scene of an accident or neglecting to stop at an accident that results in property damage is a second-degree Misdemeanor under state law. The potential penalties for a conviction for a second-degree Misdemeanor may include a jail sentence of 60 days or less and a fine of $500 or less. As incarceration is a possibility, consulting a Loxahatchee hit and run Lawyer may be a necessary step to a positive outcome.
The potential penalties for intentionally failing to stop at an accident in which injuries have occurred are even more significant than for failing to stop at an accident in which property damage has occurred. Typically, this offense is a third-degree Felony, and charges may increase to a second-degree Felony if the injuries to others from the crash are severe. If the collision causes a fatality, individuals who leave the scene of the accident commit a first-degree Felony offense.
A conviction for a hit and run Felony offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from five years for a third-degree Felony to 30 years for a first-degree Felony. Fines also can range from $5,000 to $10,000. As a hit and run Attorney in Loxahatchee knows, additional sanctions for Felony offenses may include terms of probation, counseling, community service hours, and educational courses.
Talk to a Loxahatchee Hit and Run Attorney for Advice
Leaving the scene of a collision can cost you money, damage your reputation in the community, your job, and your freedom. A Felony conviction resulting from a hit and run accident causing serious bodily injury may impact your life well into the future. A Loxahatchee hit and run Lawyer may be able to help minimize or reduce the potential penalties that you will experience when charged with a hit and run crash.
A conviction from a severe hit and run accident can affect your life even after you have served any sentence that you have received. With a Felony conviction on your record, you may encounter challenges in finding employment and furthering your education. By getting legal advice at Leifert & Leifert when you need it, you may be in a better position to fight your criminal charges.