Is a Hit-and-Run a Serious Offense in Florida?
A hit-and-run in Florida is defined as leaving the scene of an auto accident without performing certain statutory duties. Those duties entail providing your name and contact information, making sure no one is injured and calling for help if they are, and providing your driver’s license number and registration information. If you do not fulfill these statutory duties, you face serious consequences that could result in jail time. Anyone that is charged with a hit and run in Florida should speak to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Considered a Hit-and-Run in Florida?
Under Florida’s statute, a hit-and-run is considered leaving the scene of an accident without stopping to render appropriate information and performing statutory obligations. If you hit another vehicle or person, the statutory obligations are more involved than if your accident did not involve another person.
For example, if other individuals were involved in the crash, you must exchange information with them and call for medical help when necessary. However, if your accident did not involve other people, you do not have the same obligations. In this instance, you must only leave a note with your name and contact information in a place that is visible to the owner.
Penalties for a Hit-and-Run Conviction
The penalties you will face if you are convicted of a hit-and-run will depend on the circumstances of the case. Accidents involving injury or death are considered a felony, while those involving only property damage are considered misdemeanors. The penalties associated with a hit-and-run conviction are as follows:
- Accidents involving injury: If someone was injured during the accident, the crime is considered a felony of the third-degree. Penalties for a conviction include up to five years in prison or five years in probation and a maximum $5,000 fine.
- Accidents involving death: The death of another person is taken very seriously in Florida, even when it was an accident. A conviction for a hit-and-run involving death will likely be considered a first-degree felony with penalties including a maximum 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. You will also have your driver’s license revoked.
- Accidents involving property damage: Hit-and-runs that only involve property damage are not as serious, but you may still face harsh consequences. These offenses are charged as second-degree misdemeanors and if convicted, you will face a maximum of 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
To avoid these penalties, it is essential that you speak with an Orlando criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Our Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers are Here to Help
If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, it is essential that you call our Orlando criminal defense lawyers today. At O’Mara Law Group, we have the necessary experience to defend these cases and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn how we can help.