When you are involved in an automobile accident, you must remain at the accident scene or potentially face a hit and run charge. Should you or a loved one receive a charge for fleeing the scene, it is often imperative to begin building a legal defense immediately.
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are severe, and they can include heavy fines, probation, driver’s license suspension, and even imprisonment. It is imperative to contact a skilled attorney with experience handling hit and run investigations in West Palm Beach.
What is a Hit and Run?
When anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident leaves the scene without speaking to the other parties involved or before the police arrive, they may face a hit and run charge. For instance, if you rear-end another vehicle and fail to stop, or if you stop to chat with the other driver and depart before the police arrive, you may face a hit and run investigation in West Palm Beach.
Furthermore, hit and run charges also extend to property damage due to accidents, according to Florida Statute 316.061. Damage to another person’s or entity’s fence or unattended automobile can just as easily result in a hit and run charge if the negligent party leaves the scene without adhering to protocol.
Moreover, a party involved in an accident must inspect for damage any property involved in the collision. When another person is injured or killed in the accident, the involved party is responsible for providing appropriate aid to the injured party by arranging for medical care. A thorough hit and run inquiry generally reveals whether a party failed to uphold their duty in the aftermath of an accident.
An experienced Leifert and Leifert lawyer can examine your case and fight to protect your rights and freedoms.
Fleeing the Scene Can Be a Felony or Misdemeanor
The severity of charges related to fleeing the scene depends on the type of charge. However, even a lesser misdemeanor charge can result in both jail time and costly fines.
Furthermore, when someone is injured as a result of the accident, you will almost certainly be charged with a Felony punishable by up to five years in prison. You could face up to thirty years in prison, as well as charges of vehicular manslaughter if someone dies as a result of those injuries or is killed in the accident. A convicted felon’s record is often a sticking point, making it difficult to find work and housing. However, for hit and run charges to result in penalties in West Palm Beach, a prosecutor must prove them after a thorough investigation.
A practiced Leifert & Leifert lawyer can work to defend you and your reputation against these charges.
Defending Against Charges of Leaving the Scene in West Palm
An experienced hit and run lawyer will know how to use a variety of defense methods in court. When successful, these legal defenses provide an opportunity to reduce or remove charges outright.
The Prosecutor must first prove that you were involved in the accident. The Prosecutor must also demonstrate that you were the driver or person controlling the vehicle during the collision and that you fled the scene.
Furthermore, if you were unaware of the accident or any damage to property or another person, you could claim ignorance as a legal defense as well. Lastly, medical emergencies may be significant enough to form a solid defense, mainly when the conditions are life-threatening. In any case, a thorough investigation of a hit and run scene is always necessary for conviction in West Palm Beach.
Contact a West Palm Beach Attorney if You Are the Subject of a Hit and Run Investigation
The charges for fleeing the scene of a crash can feel overwhelming but hit and run investigations in West Palm Beach require a keen eye for detail, extensive knowledge, and experience.
Calling our office allows us to schedule a consultation with you and discuss the intricacies of your accident to determine what defenses may be available. Our lawyers at Leifert & Leifert are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation while providing robust defense.