Hit-and-run, legally known as Leaving the Scene of an Accident (LSA) is a crime. It is not a non-criminal traffic offense, such as speeding or failing to signal. It is a misdemeanor offense that carries up to 60 days in jail. If somebody is injured seriously, it is a third-degree felony (maximum 5 years). If somebody dies, it is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
For purposes of this article, we are only going to discuss the misdemeanor offense.
In Miami-Dade County, unless a police officer witnesses the hit-and-run crash or is able to locate you shortly after the incident, most of these investigations begin with a letter.
Normally, somebody will report that your car was involved in a hit-and-run and will give the tag number to the police. Police will run the tag through the Florida state vehicle database (called D.A.V.I.D.) and will send a letter to the address on file of the registered owner of the vehicle.
Now this creates several issues. What if you lent your car to a friend or family member and they got into a hit-and-run crash? What if your car was stolen? What if somebody else was the driver?
You don't want to take the charge for somebody else? And if you were the driver, you will want to address this issue properly in the hopes that you will be able to resolve it without being arrested or charged with a crime.
If you receive a Hit-and-Run Letter in the mail from any Miami-Dade County police agency (such as City of Miami, Miami-Dade Police, Doral, Hialeah, North Miami, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, etc...) contact my office immediately to discuss your options.
We may be able to resolve this issue without you getting arrested or even being issued a criminal citation.
Remember - whatever you do, don't try to handle a police investigation on your own. Anything you say can be used as evidence against you in court.