Police in North Miami-Dade County have been searching for a black Dodge Charger that was allegedly involved in two hit-and-run accidents in a short period of time.
The first crash occurred between the Charger and another vehicle. There was only property damage in that accident with no injuries reported. In that instance, the crime would have been leaving the scene of an accident (LSA). With no serious injury, the crime of leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor.
However, the allegation is that after the initial crash, the Charger fled the scene and struck a bicyclist. The bicyclist died. The Charger is alleged to have fled that scene as well. Since the crash involved the death of another person, that crime would be the first-degree felony of leaving the scene of an accident (LSA) with death.
Just last night, Florida Highway Patrol investigators located the black Charger. Investigators will now run the plate and VIN through Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) databases to find out who the vehicle belongs to. Then police will attempt to make contact with that person in the hopes that he or she will provide a statement.
Simply having the vehicle is not enough evidence to convict a person. There must be some evidence supporting the fact that the accused person was driving the vehicle. It is possible that somebody else was driving the car.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Miami-Dade and Broward.