Governor Scott signed tougher penalties into law for leaving the scene of an accident criminal charges in the State of Florida. The Bill is called the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, named after a 35 year old South Florida Man killed in 2012 while bicycling. The bill is focused on increases the penalty for charges related to causing serious injury to another person. Governor Scott clearly is looking to protect families who are victims of these traffic offenses.
The changes in the law include:
Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death to a person – The penalty was increased to include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for four years imprisonment.
For the charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of a person while driving under the influence, the penalty has increased to a mandatory term of imprisonment from two years to four years. The new law also requires a minimum drivers license revocation period of at least three years.
The criminal traffic offense of leaving the scene of an accident was pushed for increased penalties from several politicians and Mothers against drunk driving. Leaving the scene of an accident often referred to as Hit and Run are many times correlated with impaired driving. Rather than face the consequences of a driving under the influence charge, an impaired driver will often times leave the scene of an accident to avoid the DUI investigation. While this is not always the case for these types of charges, its clear that the impaired driver was the focus of the increased penalties. Those in opposition of the Bill believe that the penalties take the discretion out of the hands of the prosecutor and the judge for these types of charges.