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Leaving the Scene of an Accident

A "Hit and Run" is a Criminal Offense

Leaving the Scene of an Accident, commonly called a "Hit and Run" is not a simple traffic violation. Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a criminal offense that may land you in jail or prison if convicted.

According to Florida Statute 316.061 any driver of a vehicle involved in an accident must stop, position their vehicle out of traffic close to the accident scene (when possible), remain at the scene and fulfill all due requirements relating to a traffic accident.

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Misdemeanor or Felony?

The determination of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime is determined by the circumstances of the accident. Determining factors include:


  • The amount of property damage

  • Injuries to others

  • Whether or not other traffic laws were broken

  • Whether the incident is deemed to be intentional or an accidental

  • If other illegal activities occurred leading up to the accident, such as driving while under license suspension or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Your prior criminal and/or driving history

  • If the accident or incident resulted in the loss of life


  • Obligations After an Accident

    If law enforcement is called or arrives at the scene each party must follow law enforcement's instructions and may leave the scene only after cleared to do so by police.

    If police do not arrive at the scene, you must provide the other party or parties with the necessary contact and insurance information prior to leaving the scene. If you leave the scene at any point without fulfilling your obligations you may be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.


    Unfairly Charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident

    It is not uncommon for an individual to meet their obligation at an accident scene to later find out that law enforcement came upon the scene and the individual finds himself or herself facing charges for Leaving the Scene of an Accident.