After a car accident, you might not think about criminal charges, especially if you stayed at the scene and ensured everyone was all right. However, you could still face hit-and-run charges if you leave the accident scene too soon.

When you face hit-and-run charges, you must know how to defend yourself. Our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can start building a Wellington hit-and-run defense on your behalf, discussing what happened and what you need to do next.

Florida Law on Hit and Runs

If you leave the scene of an accident in Wellington without taking certain actions, you might commit hit-and-run. You need to consider how to build your defense against such charges, starting with what the state law requires.

Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident

First and foremost, Florida Statutes § 316.027 requires you to stop, return to a crash, and remain there until you have fulfilled your legal obligations. The type of crash determines how severe a crime leaving the scene can be. For crashes involving the injury or death of a person, leaving the scene too soon can become a Felony:

  • Third-degree Felony: a crash causing injury, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • Second-degree Felony: a crash causing serious bodily harm, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
  • First-degree Felony: a crash causing death, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine (mandatory minimum of four years in prison)

Suppose a crash only damages a person’s vehicle or property with that person present. In that case, a driver is still required to stop, return to the scene, and provide their information under Florida Statutes § 316.061. In this case, a hit and run becomes only a second-degree Misdemeanor, which is still punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

What Information and Aid is Required?

You can eventually leave the scene of an accident, but only after providing information aid. Florida Statutes § 316.062 requires you to give the following:

  • Your driver’s license or permit if requested
  • Your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other person involved and to the Police
  • Assistance to the other person if they need or request medical treatment, such as by calling for an ambulance

This statute also requires reporting a crash and your information to the Police if the other people involved cannot receive that information, such as when unconscious or undergoing medical treatment.

When a driver hits an unattended car or other property, the same duty to stay remains, but with slightly different details. As described by § 316.063, a driver who hits an unattended car must either locate the owner and give them the required information or they must attach a conspicuous note with their information and report to the Police. Leaving without giving your information can also lead to a second-degree Misdemeanor. A Wellington Attorney can review these rules with you in a consultation to build your defense for the hit-and-run.

How an Attorney Can Help

A Lawyer can help you defend yourself when you have been arrested or face charges for hit and run. With legal representation, you can show that you did not commit a crime in the aftermath of an accident. We could help prove the victim of a hit-and-run barely saw the other car or driver and misidentified you or your car.

If you were involved in the Wellington accident and are charged with hit-and-run, we can craft a defense to get you the best possible result. Each statute criminalizing hit-and-run uses the term “willfully,” meaning that you must intend to leave the scene without giving your information to be convicted. In the chaos of an accident and the time right afterward, you may have given or tried to give your information or made an honest mistake.

Discuss a Hit-and-Run Defense Strategy with a Wellington Attorney Today

You do not have to face these charges and create a defense strategy alone. Our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can ensure you have the best fighting on your behalf.

No matter your specific circumstances, we can start building a Wellington hit-and-run defense as soon as you contact us. We can investigate the events leading to the charges and do everything possible to defend you and your interests, so call to make an appointment immediately.

Wellington Hit and Run Lawyer
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