CRIMINAL TRAFFIC CHARGES
SARASOTA LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN
Leaving the Scene of an Accident - Hit and Run
Florida ranks among the highest states in the nation for hit-and-runs. If you‘ve been involved in an accident, do not leave the scene. Florida considers leaving the scene of the accident (LSOA) a criminal offense and the legal consequences can be severe.
If you’ve been involved in an accident you must do the following:
• Stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident or close by.
• Provide the other driver involved with your name, phone number and registration number.
• Provide your license to the driver and any police officer at the scene.
• If the car/property you damaged is unattended, it is your responsibility to locate the property owner or attach a note with your contact information onto the owner’s property.
If there is serious injury or death
When an accident involves serious injury or death, the driver has a duty to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene, or as close as possible to the scene, and remain at the scene until their duty to give information and render aid is accomplished.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
In Florida, a range of penalties apply for leaving the scene of an accident depending on the type of damage or harm caused by the crash.
• Personal Injury - If the accident resulted in personal injury to another person, then it is punishable as a third-degree felony, which means you could face up to five (5) years in prison or up to five (5) years of probation or any combination thereof. There is also a fine of up to $5,000.
• Death - If the accident resulted in death of another person, the offense will be punishable as a first-degree felony, which means you could face up to thirty (30) years in prison or up to thirty (30) years of probation or any combination thereof. There is also a fine of up to $10,000.
• If the person that leaves the scene of an accident is found to have been driving under the influence and it resulted in personal injury or death to another, then that person is faced with a mandatory minimum two (2) year prison sentence. Additionally, in any leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury to another, that person is subject to mandatory driver’s license revocation.
• If the accident you were involved in resulted in only property damage (no serious injury or death), you could face second-degree misdemeanor charges, and up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.