Despite increased penalties for hit-and-run accidents, nearly a quarter of all car crashes in Florida involve individuals fleeing the scene. The consequences can range from property damage and personal injury to permanent disability and death. As a result, the state of Florida has launched a Stay at the Scene campaign that aims to educate drivers on the consequences of leaving the scene after an accident.
What happens after a hit-and-run?
A large percentage of car accidents involve a hit-and-run. Many people’s first instinct may be to flee, but leaving the scene of a crime can have severe consequences. If the accident causes property damage, the perpetrator may be hit with a large fine and have to spend up to two months in prison. If an accident causes injuries, the driver may receive a second- or third-degree felony charge, have to pay a large fine, spend up to five years in prison and temporarily lose his or her license.
If a hit-and-run incident results in a fatality, the driver may be hit with a first-degree felony charge, sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and assessed a massive $10,000 fine. The driver also faces a mandatory sentence of four years in prison. For these reasons, drivers need to stay on the scene if they get into an accident. A driver can protect him or herself from additional charges and may be able to assist the other party involved in the accident.
How to proceed after being charged with leaving a crime scene
An individual who’s been charged with leaving the scene after a getting into a car accident may wish to speak with an attorney. A lawyer may find flaws in the prosecution’s case that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced. An attorney may also help his or her clients protect their reputation in the case of a false accusation.