Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run)

Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a criminal offense involving a person’s unlawful departure from the site of a motor vehicle crash.  A conviction can result in misdemeanor or felony penalties, depending on whether the accident resulted in injury or death.

To prove the crime of Leaving the Scene of An Accident or Crash at trial, the State of Florida must establish the following four factual elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant was the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person, or resulting in property damage to another person;
  2. The defendant knew or should have known that he or she was involved in a crash;
  3. The defendant knew or should have known of the injury to or death of the other person, or of the property damage caused to another;
  4. The defendant willfully failed to stop at the scene of the crash, or as close to the crash as possible, and failed to remain there until he or she had given identifying information to the other driver, occupant, person attending vehicle, or investigating police officer, or the defendant failed to render “reasonable assistance” to the injured person if such treatment appeared to be necessary or was requested by the injured person.

The term “identifying information” means the defendant’s name, address, vehicle registration number, and, if available and requested, the exhibition of a driver’s license or permit. The term "willfully" means purposefully and intentionally.

In all leaving the scene cases, the hiring of an attorney is a critically important step to minimize or avoid potential penalties.  In the investigative stages of a case, an attorney can make contact with police, prevent a client from making damaging statements, and present the facts of an incident in the most favorable light possible.

If charges are pursued, an attorney can make early contact with the prosecutor in order to present defenses or negotiate for a more lenient resolution to a case.  Where the prosecution refuses to negotiate, an attorney will ensure that all legal options and defenses are pursued or raised in the litigation that follows.

If you have been accused of Leaving the Scene of an Accident, it is imperative to contact us today for a free case consultation. 

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