What can happen if I’m arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated?
An arrest for DUI by itself can carry tough penalties. However, it can become much more serious and complicated if you are caught after fleeing from the site of an accident involving property damage or injury and found to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a controlled substance. Serious repercussions may alter the course of your future if you do not take immediate steps to avoid or lessen those legal consequences. DUI Hit and Run with a fatality can carry severe penalties.
In Florida, the law states that a driver involved in an accident must stay at, or as near as possible to the site of the incident. It is considered a criminal offense if you fail to do so. It is also required that a driver’s license be displayed to the other driver, or a law enforcement official, upon request. It is also mandatory for the driver to provide “reasonable assistance” to any injured person by calling for, or providing emergency transportation, if requested by the injured party. If there is not a police officer on the scene, and circumstances prevent an involved driver from rendering aid to an injured driver, the driver must immediately report the accident to the nearest police station.
What sort of punishments can I expect after leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated?
Leaving the scene of an accident, without a DUI involved, can result in a fine that ranges from $500 to as much as $10,000 if there was a fatality. Jail terms from 60 days up to as much as 30 years for a fatal crash can be imposed.
If alcohol or drugs are involved in a hit and run, a DUI charge may be added on, accompanied by separate penalties. Punishment for a DUI conviction can include fines from $500 up to $5000 and 6 months or longer in jail.
What other consequences can affect me? In addition to fines and jail time, other penalties can be imposed depending on the circumstances. These can include, but are not limited to:
- suspension/revocation of your license
- loss of the use of your vehicle
- mandatory attendance of a substance abuse program
- Installation of an ignition lock-out device on your vehicle
- community service
As well as the disruption to your daily routines, that may result from these consequences, consider that some of these things will cost you money out of your own pocket. If you have to complete a substance abuse program, you will have to pay for it. If a device is installed on your vehicle to ensure that you don’t drink and drive, you will have to pay for that as well.
In addition to those considerations is the fact that a Hit and Run charge along with a DUI will probably result in a major impact on your auto insurance rates. With these types of charges on your driving record, it won’t be long before your insurance carrier becomes aware of the situation. Once that happens, you will most likely see a substantial rate hike when it comes time to renew your policy, or in the worst-case scenario, outright cancellation of your insurance. In that event, you would be looking at a high-risk plan with very costly premiums.
At The Ticket Clinic, a law firm, our experienced attorneys believe that almost any case can be challenged and won. We have 30 years of experience working with the traffic court system and will do all that we can to get your charges reduced, or dismissed. Let us show you how we can help. Our services can be a lot more affordable than you might think.
Call the DUI Division of The Ticket Clinic at 1-800-625-5232 for your FREE phone consultation.