Should I Stay or Should I Blow
Every year in Florida there are over 90,000 hit and run situations. Many involve no injury and are crunches in parking lots, sideswipes on the highway or rear end collisions. A lot of people panic, particularly if they are drinking, or have a suspended license or an outstanding warrant for a probation violation. Many people are afraid they will get a DUI if they remain on the scene and appear intoxicated or simply have alcohol on their breath. Leaving the scene of an accident can have horrible consequences. My Law Partner was in Court in Clearwater just last week when a young man was sentenced to eleven years in State prison for leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality. The State argued that if he had stayed and called 911, the person might have survived. A lot of people panic and take off. What they do not realize is that there is a high chance they will ultimately be caught. You can run but you cannot hide.
Cameras are Everywhere
It is almost impossible to go anywhere now without coming upon some surveillance camera. There are cameras at intersections, there are cameras on the Interstate and private businesses almost all have cameras outside pointing towards the street. It is only a matter of time until you are detected, identified and arrested. If you are arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, do not make a statement. Do not make an admission. You have the right to an attorney and you absolutely should exercise that basic Constitutional right. Look at what happened in New York yesterday. The bomber was caught in less than 24 hours as a result of street cameras. If you run from an accident or as we say, “blow the scene” or “get out of Dodge”, you probably will get caught. The accident may not have been your fault. Hitting a pedestrian crossing the street a night in the dark is a good example. Running away is your fault and it is the “leaving” that is the crime. If you are reading this too late….act now.
Should I “lawyer up”?
There is no shame or stigma attached to talking to a good criminal defense lawyer. We are bound by “confidentiality” and even if you do not hire us, our lips are sealed. You may want to talk to us “just in case” the police come knocking. Confession may be good for the soul but it is rarely good for a criminal case. Keep your mouth shut, call us, and we will set up a confidential consultation either over the phone or in person. We have offices in three locations. In Charlotte County if you have a problem in Punta Gorda or Port Charlotte at 239-334-8890 of if you happen to be in Ft. Myers or Cape Coral, call 239 334 8890.