DUI is one of the most serious misdemeanor offenses. LSA (leaving the scene of the accident) is also a serious misdemeanor.
But what happens when the two are charged together?
Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run, requires a conscious intent to flee the scene of a car crash. It is not a defense to a hit and run offense to say that you were impaired. Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a crime in Florida.
Many people who are driving under the influence in Miami-Dade and Broward experience panic when they get into a crash. This panic often causes people to flee.
If somebody is serious injured due to the crash, you will face two felony charges for DUI with serious bodily injury and LSA with serious bodily injury. Both are punishable by 5 years each.
If somebody dies, you will face DUI manslaughter and LSA with death. DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony. LSA with death is a first-degree felony.
If you flee the scene of a DUI crash, the evidence of impairment may or may not be present. It all depends on how soon after the crash you are arrested. Prosecutors must prove that you were impaired at the time you were driving. If enough time has passed since the crash, there may not be evidence of impairment because any alcohol in your system would have been metabolized.
However, leaving the scene of a crash with a death is a more serious offense than DUI manslaughter. You still face substantial prison time.
As well, the identity of the driver is a key element of the crime. If you cannot be identified as the driver, you cannot be charged. It does not matter whether you are the registered owner of the car or not. The identity of the person driving the car at the time of the crash must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Under no circumstances should you ever drive while impaired or leave the scene of an accident, no matter what.
However, you may require the services of a Miami DUI attorney or Broward DUI attorney should you find yourself in a situation where you are being accused of a DUI-related hit and run.