Given the fact that leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run, is one of the most common criminal traffic crimes in South Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol is promoting a new Hit & Run Awareness campaign.
The object of the campaign is to educate drivers that leaving the scene of an accident is always worse than just remaining on scene and calling the police.
If you are not driving recklessly, are not impaired by drugs or alcohol, and have a valid driver's license, simply getting into a car accident - even if it is your fault - is not a crime. Even if somebody dies, so long as you are not committing a crime while driving, the offense is non-criminal and you cannot face jail time or a criminal conviction as a result.
If you leave the scene of an accident, even one with no injuries and very minor damage, you have just committed a crime.
Depending on the injuries, leaving the scene of an accident can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with LSA (leaving the scene of an accident) offenses in Miami-Dade and Broward.