Police report that the victim, a 50-year-old transient, was hit from behind by dark colored pickup truck while riding his bike. Witnesses report that the accused stopped briefly before leaving the scene of the accident. As police investigated the crash scene, the police received a call to report a truck stopped and that “the truck appeared to have been involved in a crash and the driver was outside staggering around.” Once police arrived they found a Chevy pick up truck with damage consistent with the hit and run. Police later charged the suspect with DUI and began investigating the hit-and-run. Here is some critical information that may help you understand the context of this accident and the consequences of a hit and run accident.
Understanding Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run accidents are a serious problem in Florida. The Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety (FLHSMV) reports that nearly 25% of car accidents in Florida are hit and run accidents and the number of fatalities caused by hit and run accidents increased 23% from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, the number of hit and run accidents statewide increased 7% in the same timeframe. Hit and run accidents are a problem for Florida law enforcement. Oftentimes hit and run accidents occur when drivers:
- Exceed speed limits;
- Drive while intoxicated; or
- Does not realize they have struck another person.
Hit and Run Car Accidents
Florida law requires a drivers to stop at the scene of the accident and provide aid to accident victims. Drivers are legally required to stop and exchange information. This, duty to give information and render aid, means you must stay at the scene of the accident and provide law enforcement officials with your name, address and registration. You may also need to provide your license if requested.
Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents
The penalties for a hit and run depend on the severity and circumstances of the accident:
- Accidents Involving Property Damage Only: failing to stop and provide information following an accident is a second degree misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- Accidents Involving Injury: if the accident results in injury, the penalties are more serious, failing to stop becomes a second degree felony charge punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 fine.
- Accidents Resulting in Death: if the accident results in death, it is a first degree felony and there is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years
In both instances you may be required to pay restitution and a court may decide to revoke your driving privileges.
Let us Help You with Hit and Run Charges
Hit and run accidents are problem in Florida. As the FLHSMV statistics demonstrate, hit and run accidents cause fatalities and the number of accidents are increasing with time. If you have been accused of leaving the scene of an accident, then you will want help from an Attorney. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth, so that we can help you with the charges. Please contact us at 407-377-0150 to schedule an appointment.