A hit-and-run is defined as leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage that you were involved in without providing the other party with your name, address, registration, insurance and driver’s license information. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious criminal traffic offense. Furthermore, if you were in an accident that resulted in death or injury to another, you must stop and give reasonable assistance to the person by making arrangements for medical care, in addition to providing your information. Failing to provide assistance after an accident you were involved in can result in charges. If accused of or charged with this offense, it is important you seek the counsel of a West Palm Beach hit and run lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a defense. En Español.
What are the Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident include imprisonment, fines, having your driver’s license suspended, and/or probation. Your insurance premiums may also increase if you are convicted of a hit and run accident.
The severity of the sentence depends on the particular accident and whether it resulted in property damage, injury or death to another person. For example, leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in county jail and a $500 fine. Fleeing the scene of an accident that caused injury to another is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $5000. A hit and run that caused death to another person qualifies as a first-degree felony, punishable by 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Clearly, being convicted of a hit and run accident has serious consequences for your life and should therefore be handled only with the assistance of a West Palm Beach attorney.
Defenses for a Hit and Run Charges
There are many viable defenses that a lawyer in West Palm Beach could use in a hit and run case based on the facts of the accident. One of the most common defense strategies is arguing that the defendant did not know that they caused damage or injury to another person. To be convicted of this crime, the drive must have known they caused an accident and willingly left the scene to avoid consequences. Therefore, lack of intent can be used a strong argument in these cases. Additionally, if the defendant driver fled the scene of an accident because they were responding to an emergency or they were forced to keep driving, this could be a viable defense strategy as well. Other potential defenses include mistaken identity and arguing that the defendant stopped as close as possible to the accident.
Contact a West Palm Beach Hit and Run Attorney
If you were charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, it is imperative to have a qualified West Palm Beach hit and run lawyer to represent you and make sure your rights are protected. A good attorney could help you present the facts and your side of the story, while making sure that your statements to law enforcement do not incriminate you in trial. An experienced attorney could also help you get your charges dismissed, or look into alternative solutions such as record expungement or sealing. If you were recently charged with leaving the scene of an accident, or another criminal traffic offense, please contact the firm of Leifert & Leifert to set up a consultation with an attorney.