Florida Highway Patrol announced that the number of hit-and-run crashes has significantly increased in Florida during the last two year. “Hit-and-run crashes are a growing problem in Florida,” said FHP Director, Col. David Brierton in an FHP Press Release. Florida had approximately 70,000 hit-and-run crashes in 2012, which determined Florida law enforcement agencies and FDOT to start education campaigns and activities meant at reducing the number of hit-and-run accidents, as well as related causes, such as driving under the influence (DUI). Given the increased number of this type of incidents, whenever you are involved in a hit-and-run crash, associated or not with DUI, you should look for specialized legal advice from an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal and DUI defense lawyer.
The statistics for this type of events in Florida are worrisome: hit-and-run crashes involving fatalities increased from 162 in 2011 to 168 in 2012, the number of hit-and-run crashes statewide equaled 69,994 last year and three out of every five fatalities in 2012 were pedestrians struck in hit-and-run crashes, according to the FHP.
Florida Highway Patrol notes that, in the case of an accident, you should:
– CALL law enforcement
– REMAIN calm
– ATTAIN vehicle, witness and driver information
– SKETCH the scene, showing vehicle crash locations and
– HELP the injured
If you get involved in an accident, remember the Florida regulations:
– The driver must immediately stop and remain at the scene, must exchange information and render reasonable assistance to any injured persons.
– Leaving the scene of a crash involving a death commits a felony of the first degree and carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in a state correctional facility and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
– Leaving the scene of a crash involving injuries commits a felony of the third degree and carries a maximum penalty of five years in a state correctional facility and/or a fine up to $5,000.
– Leaving the scene involving property damage commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in a county jail and/or fine of $500.
Given the very serious consequences of a hit-and-run, avoid getting involved in this type of situations, don’t drink and drive to prevent DUI charges, and make sure you hire a specialized criminal lawyer to help you with the legal procedures.