Fort Lauderdale Hit & Run Lawyer
When you leave the scene of an accident, it is no longer just an accident — it’s a crime
Chances are you were frightened. Perhaps you think the accident wasn’t even your fault. But when an accident occurs in which there is damage to property or a vehicle, you are required to stop and give full information to the other driver. Most important, if an accident results in an injury or fatality, it is your legal and ethical duty to render aid. Failure to do so is a felony. Contact our Fort Lauderdale hit & run lawyers for more information.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, you cannot keep running. Considering surveillance cameras, witnesses and victims, you risk being identified and placed under arrest. At the Fort Lauderdale law office of Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., we cannot undo what has been done, but we can make sure that you get effective, aggressive legal representation. We listen to your side of the story. And we take into account all factors to develop not just one strategy, but several. Why? As a lawyer who has handled hit-and-run cases for clients throughout South Florida, Kevin Kulik knows that by understanding the facts and employing different tactics, we are more likely to get the best possible outcome for you.
What constitutes a hit-and-run — and what are the penalties?
The terms “hit-and-run” and “leaving the scene of an accident” are used interchangeably. If you are involved in an accident resulting in property or vehicle damage, or in which somebody is injured or killed, and you do not remain on the scene to provide information or render aid, you are going to be charged with a crime.
Penalties depend on circumstances, whether the accident resulted in property damage to a vehicle or structure, caused an injury or fatality, and even whether it also involved a DUI. In general, penalties are:
- Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage: Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail
- Leaving the scene of an accident in which someone was injured: Third-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in a state penitentiary
- Leaving the scene of a fatal accident: First-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in a state penitentiary. You may be charged with vehicular manslaughter, also a first-degree felony.
Defenses we may present
By definition, you can be charged with a hit-and-run if you were aware of the accident and willfully left the scene. It is not unusual to be involved in an accident without knowing it. This is common in parking lot accidents, where you may have bumped a vehicle while backing up. In this case, damage is usually very minor and can probably be resolved in traffic court. You are also likely to be exempt if you were injured in an accident in which others were also injured and you are unable to provide information because of your own incapacitation.
There are often other circumstances around which a defense can be built, but it requires the assistance of a criminal law attorney with experience in hit-and-run accidents.
Learn more about how we can help when you schedule a free consultation
The first step in defending yourself against charges of leaving the scene of an accident is to discuss your case with Fort Lauderdale hit & run lawyer Kevin Kulik. The consultation is confidential and free of charge. To schedule a time to talk, please contact Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. online or call us at 954-761-9411.