Leaving the Scene of an Accident
One moment of inattention or distraction while driving is often all it takes for an accident to occur with another driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or property. Under Florida Statute § 316.062, any driver involved in an accident has a duty to give information and render aid (in the case of accidents involving injury). However, a car accident can be incredibly traumatizing for the driver who may panic and flee the scene. Some drivers flee with the intent of reporting the accident afterwards, but failure to follow Florida law and stay at the scene of an accident can result in criminal charges.
JACKSONVILLE HIT AND RUN DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Bill Roelke understands the high levels of emotion that are involved in a vehicular accident. As an experienced Duval County defense lawyer, he fights hard for the futures of individuals involved in leaving the scene of an accident in Northeast Florida. His experienced and proactive approach can prove an asset when the prosecution is determined to build a case against you. Furthermore, Bill Roelke will not settle for the easiest outcome – he fights hard to keep you out of jail and achieve favorable outcomes such as case dismissal, not guilty verdicts, acquittals, and others.
Roelke Law proudly represents Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County, and Nassau County, FL. When you have so much on the line, it's important to carefully consider your legal options. You are under no obligation to hire an attorney, but a free and honest consultation can be the first step towards getting your life back on track after an arrest for DUI. Call (904) 354-0333 or send an online message to discuss your legal options personally with an attorney who you can trust.
Duty to Give Information and Render Aid in Florida
Under Florida Statute § 316.062, the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash that resulted in injury, death, or property damage of another person is obligated to provide the following information to the other driver, property owner, occupant of the vehicle, or police officer:
- Vehicle Registration Number
- Driver's License or Permit
The driver must also render reasonable assistance to any person injured from the crash. This may include carrying or making arrangements to carry the other person to pursue apparent medical treatment.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury or Death
If a driver is involved in an accident, whether on public or private property, that results in the injury of another person, there are certain duties that must be carried out under Florida Statute § 316.027. The driver must immediately stop either at the scene of the accident or as close as possible. He or she must remain at the scene of the accident until aid has been rendered and information exchanged (under Florida Statute § 316.062). Failure to do so is a third degree felony offense, punishable with up to 5 years in prison and / or up to $5,000 in fines.
However, if the car accident resulted in the death of another person, the driver must still fulfill their duty to remain at the scene of the accident, render reasonable assistance, and present their contact information, vehicle registration number, and driver's license to the police officer on the scene. If a person leaves the scene before completed these duties, he or she can be charged with a first degree felony offense, which is punishable with up to 30 years in prison and / or $10,000 in fines.
If a person was driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a controlled substance in a car accident involving the death of another person and fled the scene, the mandatory minimum sentence is 2 years. A person previously convicted of leaving the scene of a car accident involving death or injury, whether or not it was a DUI, will be held in custody until bail is determined.
Conviction for this offense will result in a driver's license revocation. Additional penalties may also include 120 hours of community service in a trauma center or hospital that receives car accident victims. Restitution on behalf of the victim may also be ordered.
Duty after Damaging Unattended Vehicle or Other Property
Many people are unaware of this, but Florida Statute § 316.063 also states that it is a legal obligation for a person to exchange information and a driver's license to the owners of property damaged in a crash. This applies to parked cars, buildings, and other property. In the event the property owner cannot be located, the driver must leave their name, address, and vehicle registration number in a conspicuous place. The driver must also then immediately notify the nearest law enforcement authority.
Failure to do so can result in a second degree misdemeanor offense. This can be punished with up to 60 days in prison and / or up to $500 in fines.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Duval County
With Bill Roelke at your side, you are not alone and have the assistance of an advocate who believes in your future. Bill Roelke represents adults and juveniles facing hit and run charges in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Atlantic Beach, Fernandina Beach, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, and nearby areas. If you or a loved one has been arrested for this offense, it's critical to immediately consider your legal options. Call (904) 354-0333 for more information about your case and how Bill Roelke can help you pursue the most favorable outcome.