A Comprehensive Guide To Hit And Run Accident Criminal Charges In Florida
In Florida, all motorists involved in a traffic collision are required to stop their vehicle, exchange information with other parties, and remain at the scene of a crash—except to get care for a medical emergency. The failure to do so could lead to an arrest and a serious criminal charge for a hit-and-run. In this article, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer provides an in depth guide to hit and run charges in Florida.
Criminal Law in Florida: What is a Hit-and-Run (Leaving the Scene of an Accident)?
A driver involved in a crash in Florida has to stop their vehicle, exchange information, and remain at the scene of an accident until their statutory obligations are fulfilled. A driver violates the law if they “hit-and-run” after a crash. Leaving the scene of an accident without justification is a criminal offense in Florida.
An Overview of Criminal Penalties for a Hit-and-Run in Florida
In Florida, a hit-and-run violation may be charged as either a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense. The primary factor that will depend on the severity of the charge is the severity of the crash. Here is an overview of the criminal penalties for a hit-and-run (leaving the scene of an accident) in Florida:
- Hit-and-Run (Property Damage Only): Under Florida law (Florida Statutes §316.061), a hit-and-run in a property damage only crash is a second degree misdemeanor offense. It is punishable by up to two months in jail and a $500 fine.
- Hit-and-Run (Injury Reported): A hit-and-run is more serious if someone is hurt in the crash. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 316.027(2)(a)), a hit-and-run is a third degree felony punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if someone is hurt in the accident.
- Hit-and-Run (Serious Bodily Injury Reported): A hit-and-run is enhanced to a second degree felony if someone suffers serious bodily harm. In Florida, this is defined as an injury that could lead to permanent impairment or loss of a bodily member or organ. A third degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
- Hit-and-Run (Fatal Accident): A hit-and-run in a fatal crash can carry a first degree felony charge in Florida. It is a very serious offense that could carry maximum criminal penalties of up to 30 years in prison. Further, there is a mandatory four year minimum sentence under the law.
Contact Our Central Florida Hit and Run Accident Defense Attorney Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer has the professional skills and legal expertise to defend clients facing both misdemeanor and felony hit and run charges. If you or your loved one was arrested on a hit and run charge, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a fully confidential, no obligation initial consultation. From our Orlando law office, we provide criminal defense representation to clients throughout all of Central Florida.