Leaving the Scene of an Accident
A person who leaves the scene of a vehicle accident scene can be charged with a Felony or a Misdemeanor. Because these cases involve victims, some who have been seriously injured, many Judges believe this crime to be more serious than other offenses and enforce harsher penalties.
Generally, charges for Leaving the Scene of an Accident or 'LSA' are misdemeanors (Florida statute 316.061) unless the people involved in the accident are seriously injured or have died. In those situations, State Prosecutors can charge a person with a Felony (Florida statute 316.027) for leaving or fleeing the scene (in which an accident took place). A felony can be charged even in cases in which a party doesn't immediately die from the crash but eventually dies from injuries sustained as a result of that accident.
In order for the State Prosecutors to obtain a conviction for leaving an accident scene, they must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the following:
- The person driving the vehicle that was involved in the accident that resulted in (damage to another vehicle or property) or (injury to or death of a person) was in fact the accused person AND
- The accused should have realized or knew that he an accident had occurred. AND
- The vehicle or property was driven by or attended by a person (for for a misdemeanor conviction only) OR The accused knew or should have known of the injury or death to the person. (for a felony only) AND
- The accused failed to stop and remain at the location of the accident until (he/she) had given the following information to the (driver/occupant/attendant to property) and any police officer at the accident scene investigating the accident:
- Registration Information of vehicle
- Drivers License information
(For a felony)
- (a) The accused failed to stop and stay at the accident scene until indentification information was given to other parties and to police officers investigating the accident
- (b) The accused failed to assist injured persons if it seemed necessary or was requested by the injured person.
If you fled an accident an accident scene, contact the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) immediately to schedule a consultation to determine how best to defend your case and your rights.
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