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Florida Lawmakers Propose Stiff Mandatory Penalties For Fatal Hit-And-Runs

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The crime of leaving the scene of an accident causing death has become so prevalent in Miami-Dade County, it is estimated that nearly once every week in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach Counties, a person is killed in a hit-and-run.

As it stands right now, the maximum penalty for a fatal hit-and-run is 30 years, with a 2-year mandatory sentence. Some Florida lawmakers want to increase that mandatory minimum to 10 years if somebody leaves the scene of an accident where somebody has died.

The Sun Sentinel reports that one of the reason’s behind this push - other than curbing the large number of fatal hit-and-runs in Miami-Dade County - is that a DUI manslaughter charge carries more mandatory prison time than leaving the scene of an accident causing death.

Proponents of increase mandatory minimums argue that if somebody is drunk and kills another in a crash, they have an incentive to flee and let the alcohol wear off. That’s because they are looking at more prison time for being drunk than they are just for leaving the scene.

Lawmakers also want a 3-year driver’s license suspension for people convicted of leaving the scene of an accident causing death.

Eric Matheny is a Miami hit and run lawyer and Broward hit and run lawyer. If you have been involved in a hit and run crash resulting in property damage, personal injury, or death, call me.