Is It A Crime to Leave the Scene of An Accident in Florida?

by | Jan 7, 2019 | Criminal Defense Attorney

Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida could be classified as a crime that would prompt criminal charges and the necessity for defense from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida involves a person being accused of illegally departing from the scene of a motor vehicle crash. A conviction of leaving the scene of the accident could be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether or not the associated crash led to injury or death.

A driver has multiple responsibilities under Florida law, and allegations that a driver violated these could lead to criminal charges. These responsibilities include stopping at the scene of the accident, notifying the other property owner or vehicle owner about the name, address and registration number of the second driver, exhibiting a driver’s license if necessary, providing contact information to any involved police officers, and attempting to locate a property owner if the property damaged in the crash was unattended.

Additional statutory duties are required based on bodily injury or death tied to the accident. The state of Florida has to establish multiple elements when pursuing a criminal charge of leaving the scene of an accident from a crash at trial, including that the defendant knew or should have known they were involved in a crash, that the defendant was the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash, that the defendant should have known about the injury or death of the other person, and that the defendant willfully failed to stop at the scene of the crash.

If you are involved in a crash, it’s always a good rule of thumb to stop and see whether or not anyone has been hurt. This helps you to avoid any potential criminal charges of hit and run.

Challenging one or more of these elements can be important for a person who has been accused of such a crime and only an experienced criminal defense lawyer should help.