Laws, Consequences and Penalties for Orlando Hit-and-Run Accident

When a road accident occurs in the state of Florida, the law requires certain procedures to be followed by everyone involved in the accident. These procedures are set forth in Sections 316.027, 316.061 and 316.062 of the Florida Statutes. Consequences of failing to follow the procedures as required by law will lead the accident to be considered as hit-and-run, even if no serious bodily injury or harm to property was done.

If you were the driver who caused the accident, you may be tempted to leave the scene of the accident due to any of the following reasons:

  • You were in a hurry to reach somewhere and didn’t bother to stop
  • You were running away from something or someone and in your hurry caused the accident, so you want to quickly move on
  • You thought that the accident was extremely minor and did not cause any damage so there was no need to stop and exchange information
  • You illegally dropped your insurance coverage and do not want to face any charges by confronting the authorities
  • You were simply so confused and terrified after the accident so you fled the scene

No matter the severity of the accident, moving on without following the legal procedure will be considered as hit-and-run and you will have to face consequences based on the severity of the accident.

Hit and run is considered a vehicular crime and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Hit and run accidents that do not involve any injuries are considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which have quite harsh penalties.

What should do if you are involved in an auto accident?

By law, if you are involved in an auto accident, you must pull over and offer help. The driver at fault is also required to provide their personal information such as full name, complete address, phone number and auto insurance information. If you do not exchange the information and simply moved on after confirming that the other person was not injured or hurt, it will still be called a hit and run accident.

In the case if there was no one present such as when the car was parked, but you accidently hit it, you are still required to write down your personal information and leave it under the windshield wiper. You might think that it will be easy for you to just run away, but you can get yourself in trouble if the video has been caught on a surveillance camera, or if any witnesses were present on the scene.

Penalties for hit-and-run accidents

Damaging unattended vehicle or other property – If a driver damages an unattended vehicle or other property and moves on without locating or notifying the operator or owner of the vehicle or property, he or she commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and may be punished by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days.

Crash resulting in damage to a vehicle or property – If the other vehicle is being driven by a person, but the violating driver leaves the scene, they commit a misdemeanor of the second degree. This may be punished by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days, along with fines of up to $500.

Crash involving death or personal injuries – A driver of any vehicle involved in a crash that results in injury or death of another person but fails to meet the requirements as mentioned in the Florida Statutes 316.062 commits a felony of the third degree. This offense is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum imprisonment term of 2 years. The driver’s license is also revoked and the offender also has to pay $10,000 in fines.

These penalties may vary case to case, therefore it is important that you get in touch with an attorney in Orlando who can help you with your Orlando hit and run charges. If you do not take the right step at the right time, you may be at the risk of facing imprisonment, paying heavy fines and dealing with a criminal record for the rest of your life.

Contact an Orlando Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney

Whether you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, or you have been charged with hit and run in Orlando, it is important that you get in touch with a professional attorney to deal your case. Victims of hit-and-run accidents have to deal with insurance covers to pay their medical fees, repair of vehicle or property and face lost wages due to ill health. Even if you have an accident victim’s insurance policy, it will not be enough to cover the expenses of medical care. Get in touch with an Orlando hit-and-run accident lawyer who will help you and your family put your lives back together.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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