Jacksonville’s drivers are distracted by many things on their way home from work, school, and the many other places that they may visit. Unfortunately for those who are involved in accidents, damage costs can be expensive. For many, the cost can be even greater with a criminal charge, should that individual leave the scene. If one has been in a situation like this, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.
According to NewsChief.com, Kenneth A. Congdon of Winter Haven was sentenced to five years of probation for leaving the scene of a crash that killed Timmy A. Kelly, also of Winter Haven, who died Dec. 5 from injuries sustained during a during the crash last Nov. 13. Judge Ernest Jones said what Congdon did was a mistake but it was not intentional. According to police, Congdon made a turn onto Cypress Gardens Road, causing Kelly, who was riding east on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, to hit the back of Congdon’s truck. Congdon said he did not see Kelly and did not realize anyone was injured; it was only after hearing about the crash, that Congdon turned the truck in through his lawyer’s office.
One may be charged with leaving the Scene of an Accident in Jacksonville if:
– One is involved in an accident or crash with another person’s property; such as a vehicle, building, or structure; and
– One leaves the scene of the accident or crash without providing one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license to the owner of the property.
If the owner of the property is not present to receive one’s information or cannot be readily located, one is required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency and provide one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license. However, one may not know one has caused or even was involved in an accident, and therefore never reports an accident, as Congdon did here.
If one is involved in an accident or crash that results in injury or death to any person, including a passenger in one’s own car, one is required to:
– Stop Immediately;
– Provide one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license; and
– Render reasonable assistance by making arrangements for or transporting the injured or deceased person to a medical professional for treatment if it is apparent that treatment is needed or the person requests assistance.
If the person injured or deceased is not able to receive one’s information or be transported to a medical professional, one is required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency as quickly as possible and provide one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury is a Third Degree Felony punishable as a Level 5 offense under Florida’s sentencing guidelines. If convicted of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury, one may be exposed to any the following penalties:
– A maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison,
– Five years of probation, or
– A fine of up to $5,000
People are involved in accidents every day. Not every one of those people is intending to get away with a crime, or intending to commit a crime by leaving the scene of the accident. One in a situation like this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville driving crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected.