Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Leaving the Scene (also called “Hit and Run”) under Florida Statutes § 316.027 alleges that an individual involved in a traffic crash that caused injury intentionally does not stop their motor vehicle and remain at the scene.

Anyone driving a motor vehicle that is involved in a crash has a duty to remain at the scene until he or she has fulfilled requirements under Florida law to provide his or her name, contact information, and insurance information. The driver also has certain obligations to call for help when a crash occurs that results in injury to another person.

Many of these cases also involve an allegation that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) or that the driver’s privileges to driver were suspended or revoked (DWLSR).

Gainesville Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defense Lawyer

Dean Galigani fights for clients charged with the criminal offense of leaving the scene of a traffic crash in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida. Dean Galigani also represents clients charged with serious traffic crimes such as leaving the scene or hit and run in the surrounding areas including Ocala in Marion County, Columbia County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, and Union County,

Felony Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Accident

The felony charge under Florida Statute Section 326.027 can be charged when it is alleged that the driver left the scene of a traffic crash that resulted in personal injury to another person. The crime can be charged as a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000 fine. If the traffic accident results in death to another person, the individual can be convicted of a felony of the first degree.

Penalties and Punishments for Leaving the Scene

Under Florida’s hit and run statute, a person who flees the scene of a traffic crash that results in personal injury or death to any person when the driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other narcotics (DUI) will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum 2 years imprisonment.

Florida law also recognizes that the driver who leaves the scene will also be responsible for paying restitution to compensate the victim or victims for any damage suffered by the alleged victim or property. Florida law also provides for a driver’s license revocation upon a conviction.

Elements of the Offense

Under Florida Statute § 316.027(1), the crime of “Leaving the Scene of a Crash” can be charged when the following elements are alleged:

  • The defendant was the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in personal injury to or the death of any other person involved in the traffic crash; and
  • The Defendant knew or should have known that he or she was involved in a traffic crash.

The charge requires proof that the defendant willfully failed to stop at the scene of the crash or as close to the crash as possible and remain there until he or she had given “identifying information” to the injured person, the driver of the other vehicle, or a passenger, or the person attending the vehicle and to any police officer investigating the traffic crash.

Alternatively, the charge can allege that the defendant willfully failed to render “reasonable assistance” to the injured person if such treatment appeared to be necessary or was requested by the injured person.

In some cases, the failure to render assistance can be proven by the State if it proved that the defendant willfully failed to give any part of the “identifying information” or willfully failed to give reasonable assistance, the State satisfies this element of the offense.

Definitions of Terms in Florida’s Leaving the Scene Statute

The leaving the scene statute defines the term “identifying information” to mean the name, address, vehicle registration number, and, if available and requested, the exhibition of the defendant’s license or permit to drive.

The term “reasonable assistance” is defined by Florida’s hit and run statute to includes carrying or making arrangements to carry the injured person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment.

Galigani Law Firm | Experienced Representation for Traffic Offenses in Florida

Criminal Defense Attorney Dean Galigani represents clients for the criminal offense of leaving the scene of a traffic crash in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida and the surrounding areas including Ocala in Marion County, Levy County, Gilchrist County, Columbia County, and Union County, Florida.