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The Inadvertent Use of Technology to Out Drivers Involved in Hit-and-Runs

Over the last two decades, the revving up of technological advances has changed the way that we live our lives. Our technology and the GPS-systems that are included in many of our electronic devices have a way of monitoring our behavior for the better or for the worse. Courts have begun to use the information that is tracked by our electronic devices and as a result, we are being “tattled” on by our own devices.

Modern Cars’ Emergency Assistance Systems

In Florida, a woman involved in an accident, fled the scene of the crime. A decade ago, she might have been able to get away with it if there were no eyewitnesses to attest to the crime. However, her car’s on-board emergency support system called the police to notify them of the accident. The car’s emergency system alerts the police that there has been an incident, whether the airbags deployed or not, and a geo-location of where the accident occurred. The system initially will first contact the driver to determine whether or not police need to be called. If the driver does not respond, the system, which assumes the driver is unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, will alert the police to the accident.

The driver involved in the incident denied to the operator that an accident occurred, but once the police were sent to her home and found the wrecked front end of her car, she ultimately confessed to the accident. The other driver involved in the accident was sent to the hospital with back injuries resulting from the crash.

Hit-and-Run Laws in Florida

Florida has been harshening hit-and-run laws so as to deter and punish more strictly drivers involved in a hit-and-run. According to the most recent update of the hit-and-run laws in Florida, the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, drivers are required to stop and remain at the scene of an accident where a crash involves significant bodily injury to another person. Leaving the scene trumps up the charges from what might normally be a misdemeanor to a felony, and in the case of a DUI hit-and-run, the driver may face a term of 4 years imprisonment.

Affirmative Defenses and Mitigating Circumstances

There are affirmative defenses and mitigating circumstances available if you have been charged with being involved in a hit-and-run or if your technology has demonstrated that you have been involved in an accident.

First, if you can prove that you were not driving the car either because you loaned the car to someone or that the car was stolen, you can be acquitted of the charges.

Second, if you were involved in an accident, you may be able to prove that you did not intend to flee the scene if you can show that you either:

  • did not believe there was significant damage and that no one was hurt as a result of your accident; or
  • suffered head trauma or were in a state of shock that you left the scene with little to no understanding the implications of your actions.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you or a loved one has been charged for being involved in a hit-and-run, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik who can provide you guidance in the criminal justice system. Everyone deserves a fair trial and a legal advocate. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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