A 35 year-old Miami-Dade County man has been arrested for allegedly causing a fatal accident and then fleeing the scene.
Leaving the scene of an accident causing death is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in Florida state prison.
As of July 1, 2014, there is a mandatory minimum prison term of 4 years that must be imposed for anybody convicted of leaving the scene of an accident causing death.
Traffic homicide investigators allege that the accused was driving westbound on Miami Gardens Drive at a high rate of speed when he ran a red light. The accused struck a Toyota, killing the driver. Several other vehicles were also involved in the crash.
The accused has a prior criminal record that includes DWLS charges, grand theft charges, and drug charges.
A records check through the Florida Department of Corrections shows that the individual charged with the Miami Gardens crash served 8 years and 10 months in prison for a vehicular homicide - more specifically, driving while license suspended causing the death of another.
In my experience, if an accused person has served prison time for a prior offense, then the state will be seeking a higher sentence than the one previously served.
Leaving the scene of an accident elevates what is normally a non-criminal infraction (fatality) to a very serious crime.
Many people leave the scene of an accident because of a driver’s license suspension or because they are impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Eric Matheny is a Miami hit and run lawyer and Broward hit and run lawyer.