That has to flash through the mind of many people in the seconds following an accident. The problem is that if the mind is impaired from alcohol,the thoughts of losing everthing or drugs the chances are the decision as to whether to leave the scene of an accident will likely be flawed. This is particularly true if your vehicle has not been immobilized. If a person strikes someone on a bicycle the chances of them leaving are greatly increased. Many of the bicycle accidents happen in the dark. The pedestrians that are hit are often crossing or walking in a road without a light at night. The accident may not have been the driver’s fault. Panic is a terrible thing, particularly if you are impaired. Your judgement may by seriously in question. There are extreme penalties, minimum mandatory sentences if you leave the scene of a death. There may be even worse penalties if you were driving under the influence and someone dies as a result of you being impaired. By the time you read this however, your decision has probably already been made. For over thirty years I have been defending people who leave the scene of an accident. Every case is different. Usually, an admission or a confession is the State’s most damaging evidence. If you find yourself in a situation where you are facing an arrest or worse yet have already been arrested good legal advice can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. You have the right to remain silent. That is an important right. Before you answer any questions you should consult a really good criminal lawyer, one experienced in DUI cases and one who has handled leaving the scene arrests. What you say to a lawyer cannot be repeated. It is confidential. If you have a serious legal problem and need advice, give us a call. We have offices in Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda and Sarasota. We are not like the typical personal injury lawyers. WE DON’T SUE PEOPLE….WE DEFEND PEOPLE WHEN THEY LEAVE THE SCENE
In Florida last year there were 92,000 hit and run accidents. In 19,000 of those cases there were injuries and deaths. Many of the accidents were caused by impaired drivers going the wrong way on a road. Many of the accidents were rear end collisions where an impaired driver simply did not stop. Many of the deaths involve cars hitting bicycles. Bicycle deaths are at the top of the list when it comes to hit and run. The car usually only has minor damage and can easily leave the scene. The bicycle rider may have been at fault, either not having a light or being on the wrong side of the road. It is the “leaving” that is the crime and the penalties are huge if death or serious injury results. The guilt may be consuming you and you may have seen your accident on the evening news. The urge to come forward and confess may be consuming you. Guilt is a terrible feeling and generally self-destructive. You cannot change the past. As a criminal lawyer every day I speak to people about their deep dark secrets. You can talk to a lawyer in total confidence, even more so than with a therapists or friend. Talking to the police, confessing your guilt, will do you no good whatsoever. It will get you arrested, get a high bond set, get you prosecuted and land you in prison serving a four year minimum mandatory sentence. What you say to a lawyer, even one you have not hired yet is covered by the attorney client privilege and can never be repeated to anyone. What you say to the Florida Highway Patrol officer, a Sheriff’s detective or the police officer is not and can provide the missing link in landing you in prison. There are many reason people leave the scene. Some people may have been drunk and not even realized they hit someone until the next day. Some may have fled because they were driving on a suspended license. Some may have left because they had no insurance or current registration. Some may have left because they are in the Country illegally and fear deportation. Confessing accomplishes nothing!
If You or someone you know were involved in a hit and run accident in Lee County, Charlotte County, Desoto County, Pinellas, Hillsborough County,Pinellas County,Sarasota County or Manatee County and want to make a confidential call to have your questions answered, call us today and ask for Attorneys Sean O’Halloran or Peter Aiken for a free consultation. We have offices in Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda and Sarasota and before you do anything, before you call the police, before you say anything, call for a free consultation. Even if you do not ultimately hire us we may be able help you through this troubled time. Good people sometimes make bad decisions or mistakes. If you made a bad decision, do not make another one by talking to the police. Call us first