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Leaving the Scene

Florida Leaving the Scene Attorneys Serving Sarasota, Tampa, Charlotte, Pinellas, Polk, and Hillsborough Counties

LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT

One of the most common criminal traffic violations is leaving the scene of an accident. Also referred to as hit and run, the charge is a criminal traffic offense in Florida punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail, $500 fine, and 6 months of probation. If you get convicted for leaving the scene of an accident the DHSMV will assess 6 points on your driving record. Under the law, and based up the facts and your criminal history, the prosecutor can exercise and discretion and offer a withhold of adjudication. That means that you will not be formally convicted of the offense and the DHSMV will not put points on your license.

Our office has represented many clients charged with this crime. There are two types of leaving the scene of an accident, one is a misdemeanor and one is a felony. In many of these cases the officers try to put the pieces of the puzzle back together hours after the incident. Call our office immediately to discuss the details of your case with one of our lawyers. It is critical that we begin investigating your case and gathering all the evidence, especially any 911 calls and crash reports.

The following is the misdemeanor language of the Statute.

316.061 Crashes involving damage to vehicle or property.

(1) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only in damage to a vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such crash or as close thereto as possible, and shall forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at, the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. A person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, $5 shall be added to a fine imposed pursuant to this section, which $5 shall be deposited in the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund.

(2) Every stop must be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary, and, if a damaged vehicle is obstructing traffic, the driver of such vehicle must make every reasonable effort to move the vehicle or have it moved so as not to block the regular flow of traffic. Any person failing to comply with this subsection shall be cited for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(3) Employees or authorized agents of the Department of Transportation, law enforcement with proper jurisdiction, or an expressway authority created pursuant to chapter 348, in the exercise, management, control, and maintenance of its highway system, may undertake the removal from the main traveled way of roads on its highway system of all vehicles incapacitated as a result of a motor vehicle crash and of debris caused thereby. Such removal is applicable when such a motor vehicle crash results only in damage to a vehicle or other property, and when such removal can be accomplished safely and will result in the improved safety or convenience of travel upon the road. The driver or any other person who has removed a motor vehicle from the main traveled way of the road as provided in this section shall not be considered liable or at fault regarding the cause of the accident solely by reason of moving the vehicle.

The following is the Felony leaving the scene of an accident statute:
316.027 Crash involving death or personal injuries.–

(1)(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property that results in injury of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and must remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. Any person who willfully violates this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property that results in the death of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and must remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. Any person who willfully violates this paragraph commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) The department shall revoke the driver’s license of the person so convicted.

(3) Every stop must be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary, and, if a damaged vehicle is obstructing traffic, the driver of the vehicle must make every reasonable effort to move the vehicle or have it moved so as not to obstruct the regular flow of traffic. Any person who fails to comply with this subsection shall be cited for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(4) A person whose commission of a noncriminal traffic infraction or any violation of this chapter or s. 1006.66 causes or results in the death of another person may, in addition to any other civil, criminal, or administrative penalty imposed, be required by the court to serve 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital that regularly receives victims of vehicle accidents, under the supervision of a registered nurse, an emergency room physician, or an emergency medical technician pursuant to a voluntary community service program operated by the trauma center or hospital.

(5) This section does not apply to crashes occurring during a motorsports event, as defined in s. 549.10(1), or at a closed-course motorsport facility, as defined in s. 549.09(1).

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