Leaving the Scene of an Accident: What Does Florida Law Require?

While South Florida public transportation is getting better with each passing year, the majority of people still use their own private vehicles to get from place to place. Most of the people I know have been involved in at least one fender bender within the last few years. What most people do not know is that, even if it is the slightest of the slightest fender benders, everyone is required, pursuant to Florida law, to stay on scene and call the police to make an accident report. By leaving the scene of an accident, one could be subject to criminal penalties and civil litigation.

Florida Statute Section 316.061 and 316.062 mandate that the driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only in damage to a vehicle or other property shall immediately stop and provide their name, address, registration number, and driver’s license to the other driver or police officer. Failure to do so results in a misdemeanor of the second degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. Normally this type of penalty is never enforced in South Florida due to the overabundance of cases in our heavily populated jurisdictions. However, in other counties within our conservative state, this type of penalty may be enforced for first-time offenders.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident: Exceptions

Of course, exceptions to rules always exist. For example, Florida Statute Section 316.064 permits a driver who is physically incapable of making a report to contact law enforcement within 10 days of the accident. I have had a case where the driver suffered a concussion and left his vehicle unattended after crashing into a wall. After providing a medical record to law enforcement and contacting them within 10 days of the accident, my client’s charges were dropped. Another case involved a client who was fearful for her life because the drivers with whom she was involved in the accident were screaming profanities and acting aggressively towards her. She contacted law enforcement within ten days and her charges were also dropped.

While an experienced attorney can assist in resolving criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, it is much better to not even reach this point. The important thing to remember, even with the smallest crash, is that it is in your best interest to call the police and have the officer write up an accident report. This avoids potential criminal charges and prevents the other driver from fabricating evidence for a civil personal injury suit.

What Past Clients Say

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I met with several attorneys and I didn’t feel comfortable with any. Marcia walked me through the process and explained everything to me in detail. She was clear and very communicative throughout the ordeal. I recommend Marcia to anyone going through any type of criminal / legal matters.

Jose Martinez 5 March 4, 2019

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The Hansen Law Firm is a reliable law firm that I absolutely recommend. Marcia Hansen is an experienced, smart lawyer who uses a user friendly portal, which I can access anytime and see any updates regarding my case. She is also always available and quick to respond with any questions I may have.

Diego Fernandez 5 March 4, 2019

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Marcia was always available to assist me with my concerns. She laid out a strategy that resulted in to best possible outcome for our team.

kevin 5 March 4, 2019

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Marcia is a class act!!! I approached her when my cousin ran into trouble. He was facing 12 years of jail time. After her very thorough review of the case (expert witnesses, speaking with the prosecution, review of the evidence), he was released on time served with 2 years of house arrest. Needless to say, she is a true professional. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a heart is a rarity. She encompasses both. She is hardcore and sweet. I highly recommend her services. Praise God that my cousin has his life back on track and is making very sound decisions. He simply needed a second chance. Since then, Marcia has helped some of my clients who were erroneously being investigated. The client recently told me her fee was the best money he’s ever spent. He’s in the clear and his family can sleep at night. God bless her!!! She is the best.

S Berm 5 March 4, 2019

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Excellent experience with Marcia Hansen ,and the best results for our family ,we are so grateful for her work and kindness with us . I will recommend Marcia 100% .Thanks The Hansen Law Firm

KAB Badell 5 March 4, 2019


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