Anyone who has spent any length of time on the road knows that vehicle collisions happen. It’s an unfortunate part of driving. Equally unfortunate is the possibility of being charged with fleeing the scene of a crash. There are specific responsibilities that drivers have when a crash has occurred, depending on its severity. The circumstances of the accident may have led to fear and fear can lead to poor decision-making. If you are being charged with leaving the scene of an automobile crash, it’s critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney in Tampa immediately to defend your rights.
Your Responsibilities After an Automobile Crash
Immediately after a crash, it’s your responsibility to stop your vehicle, exchange information with the other person in the crash, including your name, address, and registration number, and provide your license and registration to the investigating police. If you damage unattended property, you are required to leave a note with the above mentioned information and notify the nearest law enforcement officer.
If the other person in the crash requires medical attention, in addition to above mentioned responsibilities, you have a responsibility to seek medical assistance. If the other person, is unable to exchange information with you, it’s your responsibility to notify the nearest law enforcement officer.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of An Automobile Crash
The penalties for leaving the scene of an automobile crash escalate based on the severity of the incident.
- • Crashes involving property damage: Considered a second degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you may receive up to 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
- • Crashes involving bodily injury: Considered a third degree felony. If convicted, you may receive up to five years in prison or five years probation and a $5,000.00 fine.
- • Crashes involving death: Considered a first degree felony. If convicted, you may receive up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.
Defenses for Leaving the Scene of An Automobile Crash
Believe it or not, “hit and run” is not always a cut and dry situation. There are defenses that a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa can employ to reduce or eliminate the charges. This includes:
- • Lack of knowledge that an impact occurred
- • Dispute over the identity of the driver
- • Physically unable to report a crash
- • Fear of an incident with the other driver
For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm at (813) 712-8736 or submit our contact request form.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.