Hit and Run Accidents
If you are involved in a car accident, it is in your best interests to stay at the scene until law enforcement arrives. If you do not stay you may be charged with a crime—even if the accident was not your fault. However in some instances adrenalin and panic take the place of doing the right thing and you may leave the scene and drive off. If you find yourself faced with this situation, do not wait for law enforcement to contact you and do not turn yourself in until you have consulted with an experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney. Call Pallegar Law, P.A. to be connected with an experienced Sarasota attorney who can discuss your options and strategize a fair resolution.
Car accidents cause fear and confusion, especially if you believe the accident was your fault or if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you leave before law enforcement arrives, an investigation will be conducted to try and find out what happened and who fled the scene. A warrant may be issued for your arrest, or law enforcement may try to find you at your residence to solicit an admission or confession. Our team at Pallegar Law, P.A. can help you explore your options and seek out possible defenses to the charge. Having an aggressive Sarasota car accident attorney at your side can make the difference.
Under Florida law, if you are involved in an accident involving injury or death you are required to stop immediately, provide your information, and reasonably assist the injured or deceased person. If you cannot assist the person, you must report the crash to law enforcement. In order to prove the crime of leaving the scene of accident involving damage or injury/death, the prosecutor needs to either have a wheel witness who puts you behind the wheel or an admission or confession to driving. Therefore, you should always consult with a Sarasota leaving the scene of accident attorney before you speak to the police to avoid making any incriminating statements.
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident can range from second-degree misdemeanors to a first-degree felony, depending on whether there was injury or a fatality. If there was no injury and the accident simply resulted in property damage, the crime is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by 60 days in jail, probation, and a fine.
If you are involved in a car accident where someone is injured and you leave the scene, the crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by five years in prison, probation, and a fine of up to $5,000. If someone has died and you leave the scene, the crime is a first-degree felony, punishable by thirty years in prison, probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. If you were involved in a car accident and left the scene, contact an aggressive Sarasota criminal defense attorney.
An example of the issues the State may have difficulty in proving are as follows: Person A was involved in a head-on collision with person B. Person A was unhurt but person B suffered a concussion, a punctured lung, a fractured sternum, herniated discs, and multiple broken bones. Despite being a trained paramedic, Person A did not attempt to offer Person B any help and simply left the scene of the crash. However, it could not be proven that Person A was actually driving the car at the time of the crash since there were no witnesses and he invoked his right to remain silent. Despite the seriousness of the charge, the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore should be dropped. This is an example of not only the harsh penalties that you may face if you leave the scene of a crime, but also how those penalties maybe avoided with the help of an experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime like this call Pallegar Law, P.A. at 813-444-3912 (Tampa) or 941-893-5816 (Bradenton/Sarasota) to discuss your case and options.