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Consequences for Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing a Death

In recent years, the alarming increase in fatal hit-and-run incidents has become a concerning trend. Across the United States, these incidents pose a significant threat to public safety. Unfortunately, Florida is not exempt from this troubling phenomenon.

With the Sunshine State ranking as the 8th highest in deadly crashes involving hit-and-runs. Thus, accounting for 7.2% of such incidents. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the severe consequences that individuals may face when leaving the scene of an accident that results in a tragic loss of life.

In this blog post, we will highlight everything you need to know about what happens if you leave the scene of an accident. Let’s get started.

Understanding the Legal Landscape

When involved in an accident, drivers have a legal obligation to remain at the car wreck scene. Which includes providing necessary information and assistance to those involved and emphasizing the importance of responsible behavior in the aftermath of an incident.

The Florida Statutes, Section 316.027, explicitly outlines the legal consequences for individuals who flee after causing a fatal accident.

Florida’s laws explicitly outline the responsibilities of drivers after an accident, emphasizing the gravity of leaving the scene without fulfilling these duties. Understanding and adhering to these statutes is crucial to avoiding legal consequences.

Consequences for Leaving the Scene

Leaving the scene of an accident that results in a fatality can lead to charges of vehicular homicide. Now, this is a grave criminal offense with severe penalties. The legal system takes such incidents very seriously, recognizing the impact on the lives of the victims and their families.

The act of fleeing the scene can elevate the offense to a felony hit-and-run, compounding the legal consequences. This designation indicates the severity of the incident. As well as, the corresponding penalties they may impose.

Perpetrators may face significant jail time, the duration of which depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. This punitive measure aims to hold individuals accountable for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.

Monetary penalties can also be substantial. This can add financial strain to the already dire legal consequences. The fines imposed serve as both a punishment and a means of compensating society for the harm caused.

Additionally, leaving the scene of a fatal accident often results in the suspension of the driver’s license. This restriction aims to prevent individuals from continuing to pose a potential danger on the roads.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Family members of the deceased can pursue justice through wrongful death lawsuits, seeking compensation and accountability. These legal actions serve to hold the responsible party financially responsible for the emotional and financial burdens placed on the surviving family members.

Monetary compensation may be awarded to surviving family members to alleviate the financial burdens resulting from the loss. While no amount of money can replace a lost life, it can provide some level of support for those left behind.

Aggravating Factors

If the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, charges and penalties can be further escalated. Because, driving under the influence is a serious offense on its own. And when combined with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, the legal consequences become even more severe.

Plus, a history of criminal offenses can also impact the severity of sentencing, adding an additional layer of complexity to the legal proceedings. In fact, individuals with a prior criminal record may face harsher penalties due to their established history of legal violations.

The Role of Legal Counsel

Facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident causing death is a daunting prospect. As such, it is imperative to seek legal counsel immediately. Understanding the nuances of the law, potential defenses, and negotiating strategies is crucial in mounting a robust case.

By knowing your rights and having a knowledgeable legal advocate by your side, you can navigate the legal challenges more effectively, increasing the chances of a fair and just resolution.

Legal Process and Defense Strategies

First, securing legal representation is crucial during the arrest and investigation phases to navigate the complexities of the legal system effectively. Because, an experienced attorney can guide individuals through the process, ensuring their rights are protected and building a strong defense strategy.

Compiling evidence, including witness testimonies and expert opinions, is vital for constructing a robust defense. Hence, the legal team can work to gather evidence that may prove crucial in establishing the facts of the case and supporting the defense.

Eyewitness accounts can also play a pivotal role in building a defense against charges of leaving the accident scene. The legal team can interview witnesses, gather statements, and present compelling evidence to challenge the prosecution’s case.

Expert analyses, such as accident reconstruction, can provide valuable insights into the circumstances surrounding the incident. These expert opinions can strengthen the defense’s case and offer a more comprehensive understanding of the events leading to the accident.

Why Trust RHINO Lawyers?

RHINO Lawyers bring extensive expertise to traffic offense cases, offering clients a comprehensive understanding of the legal intricacies involved. With a focus on achieving the best possible outcome for their clients, our legal team is well-equipped to handle the complexities of hit-and-run cases.

We recognize the unique challenges presented by hit-and-run cases and provide tailored defense strategies. By understanding the nuances of these cases, our attorneys can develop effective strategies to navigate the legal process.

What Happens if You Leave the Scene of an Accident?

The bottom line is that in Florida, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death carries severe consequences. Understanding the legal landscape, potential penalties, and the significance of proper legal representation is essential for individuals facing such charges.

RHINO Lawyers, with our expertise in traffic offenses, stand as advocates for justice, guiding clients through the complexities of the legal system to ensure the best possible outcome.

Schedule your free video consultation now and let us guide you through this challenging time. Understanding what happens if you leave the scene of an accident is the first step toward a more informed and empowered defense. Click here to get in touch with our team.


RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.

Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at (844) RHINO-77.