In 2014 the Florida legislature stiffened the penalties for drivers who flee the scene of an accident involving an injury. The new law was the result of the outcry after the death of Aaron Cohen, a cyclist, who was killed by a hit and run driver in Miami in 2012.
The law created increased penalties for someone convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which someone was injured. There are four levels of penalty:
- First, fleeing from an accident with injury which is not serious bodily injury is punishable by up to five years in prison (a third degree felony).
- Second, if the victim suffered serious bodily injury, the penalty is increased to up to fifteen years (a second degree felony).
- Third, if the victim was killed, the penalty increases to up to thirty years of incarceration (a first degree felony) and there is a four year mandatory minimum sentence.
- Fourth, if the driver was driving under the influence at the time, they are subject to a four year mandatory minimum sentence as well.
The law also imposes requirements for restitution to the victim or their family and a required driver’s license suspension.
These enhanced penalties are designed to give the sentencing judge greater discretion to impose longer jail time after a conviction, especially when there are aggravating circumstances involved.
If you have questions about a hit and run injury accident in Florida we would be happy to help you. Simply call us for a free comprehensive case evaluation or contact us online. There is never any cost for discussing your case.